Don Imus Bites Back
Disgraced radio personality Don Imus has hired a high-end lawyer to sue CBS, his former employer. Imus is claiming breach of contract, asserting that his agreement with CBS included his acting "irreverent [and] controversial" on the air.
Former radio talk show host Don Imus has hired one of the country's top trial lawyers to sue CBS Radio following his dismissal last month for making racial and sexual on-air comments about members of the Rutgers University women's basketball team.
Attorney Martin Garbus told CNN Wednesday that he has agreed to represent Imus in a wrongful breach of contract suit against his former employer.
Garbus would not disclose when he was retained by Imus but said he plans to file an action against CBS in the near future. Calls made to Imus by CNN were not returned.
A CBS spokesman declined comment.
Imus had $40 million remaining on a multiyear contact that began in 2006 and included a clause that CBS wanted him to be "irreverent" and "controversial," according to CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who was shown part of the contract.
"Company (CBS Radio) acknowledges that Artist's (Imus') services to be rendered hereunder are of a unique, extraordinary, irreverent, intellectual, topical, controversial and personal character and that programs of the same general type and nature containing these components are desired by Company and are consistent with Company rules and policies."
Toobin said the legal issues in the Imus case are simple: "Did Imus breach his contract by saying what he did about the Rutgers basketball team?"
CBS dismissed Imus on April 12, eight days after he called the Rutgers players "nappy-headed 'hos" on his radio show, "Imus in the Morning."
It will be up to a judge to decide whether or not "irreverent" and "controversial" covers overt racist speech.