Fired CNN anchor Don Lemon is leaving the community with at the very least $25 million — however has nonetheless lawyered up for a possible authorized battle together with his former employer, Page Six has solely confirmed.
Lemon, the 51-year-old former co-host of “CNN This Morning,” had signed a excessive $7 million-a-year contract with CNN in September that runs till 2026, sources mentioned.
Meanwhile, Lemon has employed high-powered Los Angeles leisure lawyer Bryan Freedman to safe his exit and probe whether or not the previous anchor is entitled to an additional settlement, Page Six is informed.
Freedman, co-founder of the regulation agency Freedman & Taitelman LLP, can be representing Lemon’s former CNN colleague Chris Cuomo — who stays in arbitration with CNN and is demanding $125 million for being fired. Cuomo was canned in 2021 for advising his brother, then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in the course of the latter’s public scandals.
A supply with data of Lemon’s deal at CNN mentioned: “Don was signed on a excessive seven-figure deal for the morning present final September, and is assured by CNN he might be paid the rest of his contract, which runs till 2026.
“He has retained lawyer Bryan Freedman to conclude this deal, and likewise to research if Don may very well be eligible to additional damages surrounding the situations of his exit.”
Cuomo stays in litigation with the community and claims he was entitled to a staggering $125 million payout as a result of CNN allegedly defamed him on his manner out the door. He known as his termination by the scandal-scarred information outlet “the epitome of hypocrisy,” in response to the authorized papers.
In a scorched-earth submitting with the JAMS mediation and arbitration service filed in 2022, Cuomo alleged that his former employer “has a long-established sample and observe of selectively implementing its insurance policies primarily based on cynical calculations of public notion.”
The dramatic information of Lemon’s firing was announced by the anchor himself, who tweeted that the community knowledgeable his agent that he had been let go as an alternative of executives telling him instantly.
CNN then launched an announcement denying Lemon’s declare, saying: “Don Lemon’s assertion about this morning’s occasions is inaccurate. He was supplied a possibility to fulfill with administration however as an alternative launched an announcement on Twitter.”
Lemon has been the topic of controversy since his morning present debuted late final 12 months. Earlier this month, CNN boss Chris Licht admitted that the previous primetime star has been a “lightning rod” for controversy — days after a damning report in Variety alleged years of “diva-like” and misogynistic habits by Lemon.
Lemon has employed former CNN flack Allison Gollust as his disaster spokesperson following his ouster. Gollust’s affair along with her then-CNN boss Jeff Zucker was uncovered within the wake of Cuomo’s firing, and each she and Zucker swiftly departed the community.
Gollust and Zucker conspired for years to maintain their “open secret” affair quiet with “an online of lies,” The Post reported in 2022. Gollust repeatedly informed feminine reporters they had been “sexist” and “misogynistic” for asking if she was sleeping along with her boss, whilst the 2 carried on their trysts.
An insider added, “There isn’t any irony misplaced on anybody within the media that Gollust — who lined up her personal affair by attacking reporters who dared to ask her about her relationship with Zucker as sexist and misogynists — is now representing Lemon amid his accusations of bullying feminine colleagues. Don wants to seek out somebody to signify him who has some grasp of the reality.”
Gollust didn’t remark, nor did Lemon’s agent. Freedman didn’t reply and CNN didn’t instantly get again to Page Six.
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