Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and his business partner Joel Hyatt have sued Al Jazeera, claiming the media company wrongfully withheld escrow funds after its $500 million acquisition of their company, Current TV.
“Al Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago,” said their attorney David Boies in a statement given to TheWrap. “We are asking the Court to order Al Jazeera America to stop wrongfully withholding the escrow funds that belong to Current’s former shareholders.”
Hyatt and Gore sold Current TV to the Qatari-controlled network in 2013 and, according to the Bloomberg report, the re-branding of Gore’s channel put Al Jazeera America in 43 million more U.S. homes. Al Jazeera has had the complaint sealed.
“We do not believe that our complaint should be sealed,” Boies continued. “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.”
This isn’t the first time Boies has represented the former Vice President in a high profile court case. He was Gore’s attorney in Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court Case that surrounded the 2000 presidential election. President George W. Bush eventually won that case, and Florida’s 25 electoral votes along with it.
According to Politico, Al Jazeera is presently reviewing the lawsuit. “Our outside counsel is reviewing the complaint,” said Dawn Bridges, the Al Jazeera America’s EVP of communication. “We think it relates to a commercial dispute between former shareholders of Current Media and Al Jazeera America.”