NEW YORK - Disgraced radio host Don Imus will sue CBS Radio for the huge portion of his $40 million contract that was left unpaid after he was fired for racist and sexist comments, his attorney said Thursday.
Martin Garbus, a First Amendment attorney, said he plans to file the breach of contract lawsuit by the end of next week.
Imus, 66, was barely three months into the five-year deal with CBS when he was dismissed April 12 after describing the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos" on his nationally syndicated radio program.
Garbus cited a contract clause in which CBS acknowledged that Imus' services were "unique, extraordinary, irreverent, intellectual, topical, controversial." The clause said Imus' programming was "desired by company and ... consistent with company rules and policy," according to Garbus.
CBS Radio, in a statement issued Thursday, said it would vigorously contest Imus' claim.
"We terminated Mr. Imus for cause," the statement said. "Based on the comments in question and relevant contract terms, we believe that the termination was appropriate and CBS would expect to prevail in any attempt by Mr. Imus to recover money for his actions."
If Imus wins it will effectively kill other hosts' chances of making a career as a shock jock. Basically any prospective employer is going to have to think really long and hard about hiring a guy they may have to fire for his behavior, and then still pay him his contract after they fire him.
Personally, I have zero sympathy for CBS and I hope they have to pay up. They knew exactly what they were getting into when they hired Imus in the first place, and for certain they knew who/what he was when they offered him that contract in April. You mess with the bull, you get the horns, plain and simple.