×

Al Gore Sues Al Jazeera Over the Sale of Current TV

Al Gore and Joel Hyatt have filed a lawsuit against Al Jazeera claiming that the news channel is withholding money they were to receive from the sale of the network they co-founded, Current TV.

Al Jazeera relaunched the network as Al Jazeera America last year.

The lawsuit was filed under seal in the Delaware Court of Chancery, but Gore and Hyatt’s attorney David Boies said in a statement, “Al Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago. We are asking the Court to order Al Jazeera America to stop wrongfully withholding the escrow funds that belong to Current’s former shareholders.”

The lawsuit was filed under seal at the request of Al Jazeera, Boies said, but they have filed a motion to unseal it.

“We do not believe that our complaint should be sealed,” Boies said. “However, despite being a news organization, Al Jazeera America has said that the full complaint should be kept from the public file. We have therefore filed the complaint under seal until the court can resolve this issue. We expect that the court will reject Al Jazeera America’s argument.”

Gore and Hyatt sold the network, reportedly for $500 million, in a deal reached in January, 2013. That was considered a very high price for Current, based on the prices for other recent network sales.

According to a source familiar with the case, the lawsuit is about Gore and Hyatt’s claim that Al Jazeera “unlawfully refused” to turn over “tens of millions of dollars” currently in escrow.

The lawsuit claims fraud and numerous breaches of the merger agreement reached to sell Current to Al Jazeera. Gore, who was executive chairman of the board of Current, and Hyatt, who was CEO, are the named plaintiffs, and are suing on behalf of all of the selling shareholders.

A spokeswoman for Al Jazeera America said in a statement, “Our outside counsel is reviewing the complaint. We think it relates to a commercial dispute between former shareholders of Current Media and Al Jazeera America.

“We may have further comment once they’ve fully reviewed everything.”

Boies and Chris Duffy from Boies, Schiller & Flexner are representing Gore and Hyatt, with Greg Varallo and Rudy Koch of Richards, Layton & Finger their counsel in Delaware.

 

 

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • RihannaFenty Beauty By Rihanna Launch, Madrid,

    Rihanna's Diamond Ball Will Honor Activist Shaun King, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley

    Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and civil rights activist Shaun King will receive this year’s Diamond Ball Award at Rihanna’s fifth annual Diamond Ball, which will also feature performances from Pharrell and DJ Khaled. “I can’t imagine a better night than this year’s Clara Lionel Foundation event with Seth Meyers, Pharrell and DJ Khaled,” said [...]

  • Rules Don't Apply

    Warren Beatty and Arnon Milchan Settle Suit Over 'Rules Don't Apply' Flop

    Arnon Milchan and Warren Beatty have settled their two-year legal battle over the disastrous release of “Rules Don’t Apply,” Beatty’s period drama about Howard Hughes. Milchan’s attorneys have filed a notice with the court dismissing his suit against Beatty. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Milchan’s company, New Regency, sued Beatty and other investors [...]

  • A Quiet Place

    Why Dynamic Pricing for Movie Tickets Could Be a Tough Sell

    People aren’t going to the movies as much this summer. Are they staying away because the films are duds, or is it because tickets are getting too expensive? AMC is making a bet that cost, not quality, is behind the recent downturn. Last week, the country’s largest exhibitor announced it will be testing a new [...]

  • Yara Shahidi

    Audible Teams Up With Big Names as Audio-Only Storytelling Expands

    Hobnobbing with the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Kate McKinnon and Yara Shahidi isn’t typically the gloss applied to the cerebral audiobook set, but Audible is putting the humble audio story through its own movie-makeover montage, inking high-profile development deals with entertainment names like “The Walking Dead” comics creator Skybound Entertainment, Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and Lorne [...]

  • Warner Records Names Claudia Butzky Senior

    Warner Records Names Claudia Butzky Senior VP of Brand Partnerships

    Warner Records has named Claudia Butzky senior vice president of brand partnerships, strategic marketing & commercial sync licensing, the company announced today. Based in Los Angeles, Butzky will report to Tom Corson, Co-Chairman & COO, Warner Records, and essentially will fill the role vacated by former EVP Lori Feldman, who left the company earlier this [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content