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Current TV countersues Olbermann

Channel claims, among other things, the host barely showed up for work

The very public legal dispute between left-wing TV host Keith Olbermann and his former employer, Current TV, is showing no signs of simmering down.

After Olbermann filed suit against the small public affair channel last week over the company’s decision to sack him, Current TV fired right back with its own suit. And playing nice seems to be the last thing from anyone’s mind.

Almost immediately after being fired, Olbermann wasn’t shy about telling the media he never should have left MSNBC for the “subpar” channel. Current TV didn’t hold back in its suit against Olbermann either. In its court documents, Current TV said Olbermann missed 19 out of 41 days of work in January and February, claiming that was part of his effort to sabotage the network. The suit also says Olbermann once smashed a coffee mug on the set, putting employees in danger.

"Neither Current TV and Keith Olbermann needed to say all the horrible things they have said about each other in their legal papers," said White & Case Los Angeles Partner Dan Woods, who represents employers. "What is the point of smearing one another? This paints both of them in a very bad light, and it puts them on a path of mutually assured self-destruction."

Woods added that the judge in the case will likely tell both sides to tone down the rhetoric. "The judge will ask both parties to try and mediate or settle the dispute without a trial, but it appears that would be very difficult to do since Olbermann and Current TV are so angry with each other,” he said. “I anticipate that both sides are digging in for a long fight."

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Cathleen Flahardy

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