March 12, 2013 7:30pm PT by Matthew Belloni
Keith Olbermann Settles $50 Million Current TV Lawsuit (Exclusive)
Keith Olbermann has resolved the $50 million legal dispute with Current TV over his firing from the network, a well-placed source tells The Hollywood Reporter.
A settlement is said to have been reached during a private mediation session in San Francisco on Tuesday. Terms of the deal will not be disclosed. Olbermann and Current, who sued each other in April 2012 over his dismissal from the liberal-leaning network, are expected to file court documents soon dismissing the case. (UPDATE: The case has now been officially dismissed via settlement.)
On Wednesday, Olbermann and Current TV released a joint statement to THR: "The parties are pleased to announce that a settlement has occurred, and that the terms are confidential. Nothing more will be disclosed regarding the settlement."
The move comes days after Olbermann filed extensive summary judgment motions (read in full) in advance of a May trial date in Los Angeles Superior Court. Olbermann claims he was improperly terminated without cause from his Countdown show a year into his five-year, $50 million contract with the network. He argues that Current and its co-founders Al Gore and Joel Hyatt also trashed him in the press, used his name and image in connection with a commercial for AT&T and denied him editorial control over specific shows.
Current has called the allegations "false and malicious," arguing that Olbermann breached his contract by, among other things, failing to show up for work on several occasions and revealing his salary to THR and the Wall Street Journal. Gore and Hyatt sold Current for $500 million in January to the owners of the Al Jazeera news organization, and it is unclear what role that sale played in the mediation with Olbermann. Al Jazeera executives have said they hope to launch a U.S.-based news outlet this summer on the former Current network.
Olbermann is represented by Patty Glaser, Jill Basinger and Garland Kelley at L.A.'s Glaser Weil Fink Jacobs Howard Avchen & Shapiro. Current is repped by a team at L.A.'s Paul Weiss firm.