al-jazeera

A lawsuit by a top Al Jazeera executive claims its American outlet lost $585 million in its brief existence. That does not include the $500 million cost of purchasing Al Gore’s Current TV in 2013

A lawsuit filed by Al Jazeera America’s executive vice president of finance claims the now-defunct network lost $585 million in two years.

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Anand Gupta, an Indian, alleges in a lawsuit filed Thursday in Federal District Court in Manhattany that he was racially discriminated against and denied a promised promotion to chief financial officer. Gupta says Al Anstey, the network’s chief executive, denied him the position agreed upon by his predecessor, Ehab Al Shihabi.

“We strongly disagree with the allegations made in Mr. Gupta’s complaint, which contains many factual inaccuracies, and we intend to vigorously defend the company’s position,” Molly Morse, a spokeswoman for Al Jazeera America, said in a statement on Friday, according to the New York Times.

Gupta’s legal action follows lawsuits filed last year by two former employees. They also attested to a toxic work environment at the network’s Midtown Manhattan offices.

The U.S. arm of the Qatar-based news network announced months ago that it would go dark in April, and it officially closed its doors 10 days ago. Gupta’s lawsuit sheds light on just how much cash the venture bled in its brief existence – not including the $500 million purchase of Al Gore’s Current TV in January 2013.

If Gupta’s claims about the network’s tax returns are accurate, then Al Jazeera America had losses of $250 million in 2013 and $335 million in 2014.

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Morse contends Al Jazeera America “acted appropriately and properly in its interactions with Mr. Gupta at all times, and Mr. Anstey has worked tirelessly to ensure that all employees were treated fairly during their employment since he came on board last year.”

Al Jazeera plans to shift focus to a “global online strategy” throughout the year.

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