The New York Post reported today that Tavis Smiley has to pay $2.6 million to the Public Broadcasting Service due to allegations of sleeping with some of his subordinates and using his position to force women into relationships.
In the aftermath of a three-week-long trial, a jury found that Smiley had breached the morals clause in his contract. Six women accused Smiley of misconduct and the jurors heard their stories.
Reportedly, Tavis had to pay back $1.5 million which included lost revenue from the last two seasons of his talk show. Moreover, the network argued that they should be able to get even more damages on account of the breached morals clause.
On the 5th of August, Judge Yvonne Williams ruled that PBS would receive another $2.6 million. The amount includes liquidated damages which were paid to the broadcasting service by Tavis’ company, TS Media.
As it was previously reported, Smiley’s talk show was suspended back in 2017 due to allegations of sexual misconduct. The organization hired a third-party investigation team to look into the claims. Two years ago, Smiley filed a lawsuit against the network and PBS countersued.
Reportedly, the jury didn’t agree with the former host’s claim that the network had violated their contract by prematurely canceling his television series. One woman claims Tavis was vindictive over repeated rejections.
She claims Smiley once said to her, “I’m tired of you telling me no.” He went on to tell her, “I’m going to show you what happens to people when they reject me.” She then went on to leave her job at his show and was paid $325,000 in restitution.
Another female worker said she had a consensual relationship with him because she didn’t want to lose her job. He would often remind her that he was her boss, and she felt like her job “was in jeopardy” if she didn’t sleep with him.
She was later let go, and she claims it’s because others in the office had learned of the relationship. Tavis was also accused by another woman of not being allowed back on as a guest after having turned down his request for a sexual relationship.
Moreover, women accused Tavis of being mean to his subordinates, including anger problems, and yelling at people.