EXCLUSIVE: Splashing out! Fired ex-CNN host Chris Cuomo is spotted at ritzy Palm Beach hotel after he sued his old network for $60m following ousting of Jeff Zucker for affair
Chris Cuomo was snapped enjoying a break at a ritzy Palm Beach hotel after CNN agreed to pay him half his $18 million contract in the wake of his dismissal.
Cuomo, 51, and wife Cristina were snapped in summer gear outside the hotel over the weekend. Jobless gym-obsessive Cuomo, 51, wore shorts and a black t-shirt that showed off his bulging muscles.
He wore a pair of black shorts, black On sneakers, and a sweater tied around his waist. A luxuriant mustache he’d been snapped sporting in the Hamptons earlier this week has since been shaved off.
He had been fired from his position as a CNN host on December 4 after his involvement with helping brother Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo amid the sexual assault allegations made against him.
Since Cuomo’s termination, he has kept a low-profile and has moved from NYC to the Hamptons with wife Cristina.
He has since asked for ‘Megyn Kelly money’ with a request of a $60 million payout in favor of the $18 million left on his contract, a source told Page Six.
AT&T, CNN’s parent company, is said to be in negotiations to reach a deal that would see the fired anchor receive half of the $18million he had been vying for before Jeff Zucker’s unexpected resignation, as first reported by the New York Post.
Former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was spotted Sunday afternoon at a ritzy hotel in Palm Beach, Florida
Cuomo was spotted waiting for a car to pick him up with his wife Cristina in tow
Cuomo waits for a phone call outside the hotel
Cuomo, 51, was seen driving his Ford truck in the Hamptons on Wednesday sporting a luxuriant mustache
He was seen sporting a new moustache as well as new sunglasses and a grey cap
Cuomo had been keeping a relatively low-profile in the Hamptons with his wife Cristina after being fired from CNN in December for helping brother Andrew amid sexual assault allegations
The former CNN host even hired an attorney in December when he had been let go following a network investigation.
He was also previously accused of sexual harassment in September 2021 by his former boss Shelley Ross.
Attorney Debra Katz claimed that the allegation had been a significant factor in Cuomo’s termination from the network.
CNN President Jeff Zucker previously said that Cuomo wouldn’t get a severance package, but WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar declined to address the issue during a virtual meeting with CNN’s New York-based hosts on Monday.
‘Chris insists he never did anything for his brother Andrew that Zucker didn’t know about. His camp believes Zucker wasn’t fired for an inappropriate relationship with Allison Gollust. Everybody knew about that and nobody cared,’ a source told Page Six.
‘What he believes happened is WarnerMedia found something in their investigation into Chris, perhaps internal memos or documents which revealed more about Zucker’s involvement with Andrew Cuomo. Gollust was just a convenient excuse.’
A source added: ‘Chris intends to fight for every dollar on his contract, and loss of income from the 15 to 20 years left in his career, had Zucker not orchestrated a “f***-job” on him. He could ask for as much as $80 million but CNN isn’t going to pay that. But there’s an argument he could ask for as much as $60 million.’
Another source told Page Six: ‘Chris is telling people in the Hamptons he was wrongly fired, humiliated, his career has been ruined, and he wants Megyn Kelly money.’
Zucker himself resigned on February 2 after revealing his romantic relationship with executive Allison Gollust.
Allison Gollust, whom CNN President Jeff Zucker was in a relationship with is seen arriving at her Manhattan apartment late on Thursday night
Jeff Zucker left the network over his relationship with employee Allison Gollust, 49
Gollust admitted the pair’s relationship saying it had ‘blossomed’ during the pandemic. CNN insiders said it had been an open secret for eight years
Fired CNN anchor Chris Cuomo is to receive a payout of $9million rather than the $18million he had been hoping for
He was forced out in December after he helped his brother, Andrew, deal with a sex scandal without being fully open as to the lengths he was going to his aid.
Chris was to looking to get paid out for the remainder of his contract, but Zucker was sticking firm and refusing, arguing that he brought the network into disrepute.
However, Zucker’s sudden exit after nine years as CNN’s leader means the goalposts have now shifted once again.
Zucker said he was leaving for violating corporate policy by not disclosing the nature of his relationship with Gollust, but he was reportedly given no choice by WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, who characterized the change as his decision at a meeting with CNN Washington staff members.
Zucker appeared to fall on his sword in the hopes of keeping a possible lawsuit by Cuomo from being made public, according to the New York Post.
It has since emerged that Cuomo was the one who raised the affair to executives. Cuomo’s attorneys are said to have told Kilar who then informed AT&T boss John Stankey.
Zucker was said to have been named numerous times in a draft version of the lawsuit that has not yet been filed.
CNN president Jeff Zucker abruptly resigned Wednesday following the Chris Cuomo scandal, which brought to light his relationship with Gollust (pictured right in 2011), although sources at CNN say it was considered an open secret
Zucker and Gollust were seen in public at the Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden on November 5, 2021 with Don Lemon (right) and Fareed Zakaria (bottom left). Picture courtesy of fee.org. Tapper alleged the photo forced Zucker to ‘come forward’ and resign ‘not willingly’
Zucker ended up resigning as part of an agreement with AT&T chief John Stankey.
It would mean Zucker would leave CNN without any fight, leaving Stankey to settle with Cuomo, sparing the news organization from any potentially damaging and humiliating allegations.
With Zucker quickly stepping away from network and his powerful media executive role, he also attempted to secure some semblance of privacy for himself.
‘Jeff cut a deal to say ‘I’ll leave, and you [At&T] settle with Cuomo,” one source told The Post.
‘He thought AT&T would fight a lawsuit and it would go public otherwise.’
If Cuomo were to file his lawsuit and AT&T decided to contest it, potentially damaging information about Zucker may have been made public.
Both Gollust and Zucker, left, are said to have coached the 64-year-old former Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, on how to present his daily Covid briefings during the pandemic. The pair are pictured here in 2008
Zucker’s departure essentially blunts any allegations that Cuomo may have come forward with, or as is preferred by CNN, to be kept from the public altogether.
Zucker and Gollust are said to have also had an ‘ethically dubious’ relationship with the former New York governor.
The pair are said to have coached the 64-year-old governor on how to best present his daily Covid briefings during the pandemic.
The duo are even said to have fed him lines to use when responding to criticism by President Donald Trump in order for it to make for compelling television.
Chris Cuomo refused to leave CNN quietly after being fired for helping quash sex assault allegations against his brother, disgraced ex-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, pictured
CNN still needs to find a replacement for Chis Cuomo in its primetime lineup, and is currently going with a series of substitutes.
Zucker recently approached Gayle King for the job before she decided to re-sign with CBS News.
The television network’s viewership has dropped dramatically in the past year.
News ratings have always been cyclical, and the 2020 election brought record numbers of people in, but there’s always the question of when, or if, they will come back.
CNN is also coming off a contentious period where Trump frequently referred to the network as ‘fake news.’
CNN on-air personnel under Zucker, like chief domestic correspondent and pundit Acosta, have become much more opinionated and that hasn’t always been popular.
‘It’s interesting to see if that culture is going to shift with new leadership,’ said Jennifer Thomas, a Howard University journalism professor who worked at CNN as a producer in the 2000s.
Some people, like Thomas, have called for a reset. One is influential cable executive John Malone, a top stockholder in Discovery, said on CNBC in November ‘I would like to see CNN evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with.’
Chris Cuomo has always maintained that Jeff Zucker, pitured, knew of extent to which he had helped his brother while he was in office with the network boss ignoring calls to fire him for months