More American wrath: Al Gore sues Al-Jazeera for fraud
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore sued Al Jazeera, claiming the satellite news provider owned by the Qatari royal family owes him and a partner $65 million from a deal to buy his network, Current TV, for $500m.
Gore, 66, and Joel Hyatt, another former Current TV owner, accused Al Jazeera American Holdings I Inc. of fraud and breach of contract. They are seeking undisclosed damages in a mostly sealed complaint filed today in Chancery Court in Wilmington, Delaware. The men alleged that Al Jazeera illegally tried to seize $65m in escrow funds.
“Al Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago,” David Boies, a lawyer for Gore, said in a statement. “We are asking the court to order Al Jazeera America to stop wrongfully withholding the escrow funds that belong to Current’s former shareholders.”
Buying Gore’s channel and rebranding it gave Al Jazeera America access to about 43m U.S. homes. Gore was to make an estimated $100m on the sale of the network, which he helped to start in 2004. After debt, he was to gross an estimated $70m for his 20 per cent stake, people familiar with the transaction said. Dawn Bridges, a spokeswoman for Al Jazeera, said that the network’s lawyers are reviewing the lawsuit.