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FILE - In this May 29, 2014 file photo, author and talk show host Tavis Smiley speaks at Book Expo America in New York. Smiley and director Kenny Leon are developing a play based on Smiley’s new book about his long friendship with Maya Angelou, “My Journey With Maya.” (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Tavis Smiley sues PBS for breach of contract after firing him for sexual misconduct allegations

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Talk-show host Tavis Smiley is suing his former employer, the Public Broadcasting Service, for breach of contract after he was fired over sexual harassment allegations.

The Washington Post reported that the lawsuit was filed on Feb 20 in D.C. Superior Court against PBS.

PBS fired Smiley in December after it said it received multiple, credible allegations of workplace misconduct by Smiley on his late-night interview show.

Smiley has repeatedly said PBS never presented him with the names of his accusers, specific allegations, or details of an investigation into his workplace relationships that led up to his dismissal.

Smiley has acknowledged having romantic relationships with colleagues over his career, but says they were consensual.

“I’ve spent the bulk of my career in public media, so filing a lawsuit against PBS was the last thing I wanted to do,” he said in an interview with the Washington Post. “But litigation seems to be the only way to get at the truth.”

PBS called Smiley's lawsuit meritless and an effort to distract the public from his misconduct.

Smiley, who is African-American, contends in the lawsuit that racial bias contributed to his dismissal.

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