Chris Cuomo lashed out at former CNN 'brother' Don Lemon in lawsuit seeking $125 million from the network after being fired

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chris cuomo
Chris Cuomo on CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time" on May 20.CNN
  • The former CNN host Chris Cuomo is seeking a $125 million payout from the network.

  • In a legal brief obtained by Deadline, Cuomo accused former colleagues of trying to destroy him.

  • He also said his friend Don Lemon once violated CNN rules but got away with it.

Chris Cuomo lashed out at his former CNN "brother" Don Lemon in an arbitration filing on Wednesday, part of a lawsuit seeking $125 million from the network that fired him.

In the arbitration brief, first obtained by Deadline, Cuomo said his career had suffered countless damage from his termination by CNN in December.

He accused some of his former CNN colleagues of attempting to destroy his reputation in the process.

CNN fired Cuomo last year after it emerged that he had privately helped his brother, then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, navigate a sexual-harassment scandal.

He is seeking $15 million in wages for the remainder of his four-year contract and $110 million in damages.

In the brief, Cuomo said the CNN executives Jeff Zucker and Allison Gollust — who both resigned from the network earlier this year after failing to disclose their romantic relationship — did not discipline other CNN staff who appeared to break the rules.

"As long as CNN's ratings would not be hurt, Zucker and Gollust were more than willing to overlook major transgressions by CNN personalities such as Don Lemon and Jake Tapper, or even to engage in blatant misconduct themselves," the filing said.

Cuomo specifically called out Lemon, with whom he once appeared to share a close relationship.

The brief cited one specific incident in November 2021, saying the "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett testified at trial that Lemon had warned him that Chicago police didn't believe his false accusations of a hate crime.

"Intervening in the ongoing investigation by texting Smollett was an inexcusable breach of ethics," the filing argued. "Yet CNN did nothing. Lemon was not disciplined in any way."

The filing also cited a 2020 Fox News article that said Tapper had "repeatedly urged Congressional candidate Sean Parnell not to run against Rep. Conor Lamb, but to run in a 'safer,' more heavily Republican district."

"CNN conducted no inquiry and imposed no disciplinary measures on Tapper," the filing said.

Turner, CNN's parent company, did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Lemon and Cuomo have shared an on-screen bromance, often calling each other "brother" and exchanging "I love yous" during their on-air prime-time hand-offs. They have posed together in Instagram pictures.

Lemon has not publicly commented on Cuomo's firing but was critical of the possibility of a severance payment to Cuomo in a February CNN meeting that followed Zucker's resignation.

In an audio clip of the meeting, obtained by Insider's Claire Atkinson, Lemon said: "Did you think about what message it sends to the journalists in this company and to the larger public, that someone can be found to break with those journalistic standards and then get paid handsomely for it?"

Read the original article on Business Insider