A Trump supporter fired from CNN after allegations of sexual misconduct were leveled against him wants nearly $10 million from his former employer for leaking the report that so damaged his reputation.
The Arizona Republic reported Tuesday that conservative pundit Paris Dennard has filed the precursor to a lawsuit against Arizona State University after findings from a 2014 internal investigation into sexual harassment claims were released by an insider to the Washington Post in August 2018.
Dennard argued in his notice of a claim filing that ASU did not find that he violated harassment policies when he worked at the McCain Institute for International Leadership but did show a "lack of professionalism" and violated employee conduct rules, the report noted. He was then "involuntarily separated" from the university.
The Post reported in August that the pro-Trump pundit once "pretended to unzip his pants in [a female employee's] presence, tried to get her to sit on his lap, and made masturbatory gestures," licked an employee's neck and whispered in an employee's ear that he wanted to "f**k her."
In his pre-lawsuit filing, Dennard and his lawyers argued that an anonymous ASU official "intentionally disclosed the report (and commented on it) in order publicly to smear and harm" the pundit, the Arizona Republic noted. In doing so, the school violated his privacy
The report added that Dennard was dropped by CNN, NPR and The Hill as a commentator after the allegations were published.
In the filing, Dennard's attorneys noted that while the pundit's career was on the rise prior to the Post report about the sexual misconduct investigation, "the first nine pages of Google results for Dennard's name now bring up the allegations."
Professional opportunities for the pundit have since "dried up," his attorney Timothy La Sota argued in the filing.
"This caused tremendous embarrassment to Mr. Dennard and his family," La Sota wrote.
"The claim arrived at $9.9 million in damages, including $7.7 million in lost future wages, $1 million for emotional distress, and costs incurred for 10 years of reputation management, attorneys and publicists of $10,000 per month," the Republic reported.