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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
46.

CAROL    

THOUGHT THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT GOLF STANDS FOR: GENTLEMEN ONLY LADIES FORBIDDEN....

846 days ago
47.

Machelle    

Gosh dang TMZ, I need you to either discharge your writers or proofread your crap before submitting. These grammatical errors are inexcusable dude!

846 days ago
48.

Scott    

Please buy the writer a spell checker.

846 days ago
49.

Ryan    

Wow will the discovery in this case be great..im sure his bosses from ESPN and MSNBC will testify... hope we learn how nuts this guy is..

846 days ago
50.

mamawati    

Give him the money with the condition he leaves the country and never appears on television again. It woudl be a blessing

846 days ago
51.

Red Ruffansore    

Quif Uberdouche is a gasbag. Nobody wants him. Nobody can stand him. No wonder he was with Algore, they have so much in common.

846 days ago
52.

Clyde T.M. Nestra    

Wasn't he FIRED by MSNBC? Big difference from "being enticed".

846 days ago
53.

PokerStar    

You don't bite the hand that feeds you Keith. I think the judge will agree and Dumbledorf will experience what 90% of American's are going through - unemployment. Welcome to the 99% Keith, set up your tent in Zuccoti Park, if they allow you access, lol.

846 days ago
54.

GM    

He's reminding me more and more of Charlie Sheen. Nuts!

846 days ago
55.

SAM    

you are worth $70 dollars, the most!...

846 days ago
56.

EBL    

846 days ago
57.

Paul Kersey    

This is fantastic! Algore's network may go out of business as a result and drama queen Keith Olbermann will NEVER work again!

846 days ago
58.

BigDing0    

How long before Kweef, I mean Keith, shows up on Stern as a "sidekick"?

846 days ago
59.

Ed    

Good luck collecting Keith, I think you ran Current TV into bankruptcy before you left... Time Warner confirms they are in the last throes before being totally off the air.
Air America, Current TV... What next? MSNBC?

846 days ago
60.

Cindy, AKA dogsRbetter    

who? really, TMZ, can you just do some good stories on has beens and leave the no talent, no reason to be in Hollywood, and totally uninteresting, egomaniacal, annoying narcissists under their rock? who CARES what this guy has to say?

846 days ago
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