Report: CNN in Talks to Pay Chris Cuomo Some $9M in Hush Money to Protect Zucker, Network (AP)
Thursday, 03 February 2022 10:58 PM
Chris Cuomo is seeking some $18 million as a settlement over his exit and rancorous feud with CNN, but in the aftermath of Jeff Zucker's resignation, things seem headed more toward about half that sum, according to a report in the New York Post Thursday.
Network chief Zucker exited Wednesday after revealing that he had a relationship with a senior network executive.
"As part of the investigation into Chris Cuomo's tenure at CNN, I was asked about a consensual relationship with my closest colleague, someone I have worked with for more than 20 years. I acknowledged the relationship evolved in recent years. I was required to disclose it when it began but I didn't. I was wrong. As a result, I am resigning today," Zucker wrote in a memo to network colleagues, according to news reports this week.
The Post suggested the exit was part of an effort to keep a possible Cuomo lawsuit against CNN from coming to light. The ex-CNN chief was named multiple times in a draft of a suit, which hasn’t been filed, sources said, acoording to the outlet.
The Post further said Zucker’s resignation came as part of an agreement with AT&T chief John Stankey. Zucker would leave CNN without putting up resistance, and Stankey would settle with Cuomo, the Post's sources said.
That way, Cuomo’s potentially damaging further allegations about Zucker would be contained, these sources reportedly asserted.
According to an earlier report from The Post, Zucker and Allison Gollust — the colleague with whom he acknowledged his inappropriate relationship — had an ethically questionable relationship with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The pair would coach the governor, who has since left office under a cloud of his own amid misconduct claims, on his now-infamous COVID briefings; they advised on how to respond to criticisms from parties including former President Donald Trump in order to generate more compelling television.
Now, sources say, Chris Cuomo wants a hefty settlement from AT&T, which owns CNN, or will potentially file his lawsuit, the Post reported.
It said AT&T is negotiating with Cuomo to reach a deal that would give him perhaps half the $18 million he is seeking in an effort to shut down his additional allegations.
Back in December, the news network canned Chris Cuomo on Saturday after details emerged about how he advised his brother as the politician faced the sexual harassment allegations that ultimately cut his administration short.
New York's attorney general released details showing the anchor was more involved than previously known in helping to strategize and reach out to other journalists as his brother fought to keep his job.
Newsmax wires contributed to this report.