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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
16.

WatcherOne    

TMZ - This post needs proof reading very badly. Olberman? Ugh, he's insufferable.

868 days ago
17.

Carl    

I'm pretty darn liberal, but even I have to admit Keith has gone over the deep end. I gave him the benefit of the doubt after leaving MSNBC (despite knowing how he was at ESPN), but enough's enough and he should no longer be considered one of the main voices of the liberal cause.

867 days ago
18.

JeffyJeff    

Olberman cannot sue anyone, since he (Keith Olberman) went on the Letterman show and told a national television audience that "The whole thing is my fault!" and "I take full resposablity."

If it goes to court that is evidence and it will be thrown out.

867 days ago
19.

LAUGHS AT YOU    

LOLOL

"Olbermann Broadcasting Empire, Inc."

Hmmm...

Bwahahahahaha!

LOLOL

867 days ago
20.

Toasty J    

Glad to see that Olbermann found out the hard way that Al Gore is full of $h!t.

867 days ago
21.

buzz kill    

So Kweef O. wants 70mil. Hey Kweef here is an idea, take your last 10mil and buy yourself some lottery tickets. Better chance of winning than getting another job in the media. If that plan dosn't work out, there is always McDonalds they are always hiring.

867 days ago
22.

3Storms    

I thought he was gonna quit anyway. BS lawsuit is frivolous and won't go far

867 days ago
23.

George    

KEITH OLBERMANN IS A DOUCHE BAG OF THE HIGHEST ORDER..............

867 days ago
24.

kindamara    

Gore will pay him off in carbon credits

867 days ago
25.

Joe    

How the hell did this moron expect Current TV to make money? Who is going to give money to an Internet outlet that despises business and enterprise? $50 million or $70 million or whatever is just supposed to magically appear by predictably making every Republican the Worse Worser, Worst person of the day?

867 days ago
26.

David    

Give the money to charity, like any good liberal should do. Keith has plenty of money

867 days ago
27.

David Taylor    

After being enticed to leave MSNBC !!!! What a spin!!! He bailed ship just before MSNBC pulled the plug on him as well!

867 days ago
28.

karen Benedict    

Keith, If your a idiot your just an idiot.

867 days ago
29.

Jerome    

screw Olbermann,what a jerk and worthless piece of fish poo.

867 days ago
30.

kathy    

Keith Oberman is an unprofessional jerk. He is rude, mis informed, and a mean sob! Get him off the air completetly!!

867 days ago
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