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Keith Olbermann

Sues Current TV

You Owe Me Roughly $70 Mil

4/5/2012 1:38 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0405_oberman_doc_launch
Keith Olbermann has just sued Current TV ... claiming the network violated his contract, torpedoed his show ... and still owes him up to $70 million in unpaid compensation.

In the lawsuit, filed in L.A. and obtained by TMZ, Keith says, "After being enticed to leave MSNBC and come to Current with promise of editorial control, freedom from corporate influence and the professional support to produce a high-caliber political commentary show of the type his viewers have come to expect, Keith Olbermann was disheartened to discover Al Gore, Joel Hyatt and the management of Current are no more than dilettantes portraying entertainment industry executives."

Olbermann claims his "public termination" last week was "the latest in a series of increasingly erratic and unprofessional actions undertaken by Current's senior management."

Keith alleges Current was so dysfunctional and broke after the network's first 8 months on the air, Current "still couldn't manage to, literally, keep the lights on."

Olbermann is suing for breach of contract, sabotage and disparagement.

In the suit, Keith lists the following gripes with the network:

-- broadcasting ads containing Keith's image without his consent
-- using guest hosts for "Countdown" without Keith's approval
-- refusing to give Keith editorial control over special election coverage
-- disclosing the confidential terms of his contract
-- linking Keith's name and goodwill with corporate endorsements without his consent
-- disparaging Keith publicly
-- refusing Keith's request to stream segments from his show on his website
-- refusing to invest resources in the show

The lawsuit also contains a reference to an email from Current TV President David Bohrman, in which Bohrman admits "the 33rd street studio [where Keith's show was filmed] is never going to be a professional facility. We are paying for a Porsche [the studio] and getting a Yugo [a notoriously crappy car]."

In his suit, Olbermann claims Current still owes him between $50 million and $70 million worth of cash and equity compensation.

After he was fired, Olbermann complained about how Current TV was being managed while he worked for the network -- telling David Letterman, Current was a "ragtag operation" that couldn't afford him.

Al Gore -- the network's co-founder -- released a vague statement after firing Olbermann, claiming they let Keith go because he was disrespectful and disloyal to viewers.

74 COMMENTS

No Avatar
1.

Kari    

Pay him--anything to get rid of him!

879 days ago
2.

TV Gord    

This is great news! I can't wait for a judge to put him in his place...not that Keith would absorb any real criticism...

879 days ago
3.

Digger    

How do these egotistical gasbags keep getting million-dollar contracts? Only in a sick society.

879 days ago
4.

spoutinghorn    

Keith is just an everyday guy, you know, like the normal ones who go through 8 different limo companies because a driver smells, another driver has the audacity to talk to him...

879 days ago
5.

john     

hilarious. I wonder if Current TV will be solvent if Keith Olbermann gets a judgement. Sounds like Current TV itself might get canceled. I guess they could counter sue for Keiths crappy program.

879 days ago
6.

Who Knew    

Olbermann = Douche.

879 days ago
7.

hummm    

This is karma going both ways, LOL.

879 days ago
8.

tucker    

How long before this guy is drinking Tiger Blood and arrested with a hooker?

879 days ago
9.

writenow    

The mouse that roared. The only good thing he did was find Rachel Maddow. He'll find a home on Fox. He's Fox material.

879 days ago
10.

1    

Not long since you are already tiger blood and the world belongs to you.

879 days ago
11.

Di    

Actually, Olberman is a very intelligent and eloquent man. His shtick is what it is and Current knew this when they hired him. Now, I'm assuming, they don't have the money to pay him, so they fire him.

879 days ago
12.

tgrfan42069    

uhhhhhh first msnbc got rid of olberman.second why do liberal ****s always tend to wear those ugly glasses?

879 days ago
13.

Scott    

Keith has issues !! Why sue if he planned on leaving Current TV as he claims? Please Keith go away, no one wants to watch you !!

879 days ago
14.

DJ    

No wonder he keeps getting fired.

879 days ago
15.

Mike    

As much as I would like this to go to open court, this will get fixed well before any public testimony for mid-to-high 7 figures. Not 8 like Olbermann is claiming, not 5 like the network (I use that term loosely) would have you believe. Terms will be confidential, and Olmermann will be seen dining out at a very nice restaurant witha very large group of people in celebration when the settlement is paid off.

879 days ago
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