The former PBS host has been ordered by judge to pay the network a total of $2.6 million in liquidated damages after his show was yanked off air following sexual misconduct.
AceShowbiz -TV host Tavis Smiley has been ordered to pay $2.6 million (£2 million) to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) for having multiple affairs with his subordinates.
Officials at the network pulled Smiley’s talk show from the air back in 2017 after revealing they had gathered evidence of on-set misbehaviour against the presenter, following allegations of sexual misconduct.
Despite Smiley fighting the allegations, a Washington, D.C. jury found in March (20) that he had breached the morals clause in his contract, following a three-week trial. The jurors heard deposition testimony from six women who accused Smiley of misconduct.
The jury awarded PBS $1.5 million (£1.1 million) but, following the trial, network bosses argued they should be entitled to additional damages under the morals clause, according to the New York Post.
Judge Yvonne Williams agreed, and has since awarded PBS a total of $2.6 million – $1.9 million (£1.4 million) in liquidated damages – the amount paid by PBS to Smiley’s company, TS Media, for the show’s last two seasons – and an additional $702,898 (£532,537) that corporate underwriters had paid to Smiley’s company for those seasons.
In her ruling, Williams also denied Smiley’s bid to reduce the jury award.
One woman testified at the trial that Smiley made numerous sexual advances. When she rebuffed him, he said, “I’m tired of you telling me no. I’m going to show you what happens to people when they reject me.”
Another woman testified that she had a consensual relationship with Smiley but, when she turned him down for sex, he reminded her that he was her boss.
The woman was later fired, and testified she believed it was because others in the office learned of the relationship.
Other allegations pertained to Smiley’s use of crude language at work, his anger, his habit of yelling at subordinates, and other issues.
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