On Wednesday, a jury ruled that former PBS host Tavis Smiley violated the morals clause of his contract with the network by having sexual contact with his subordinates.
Variety reports that a judge will determine the total amount of damages but Smiley will be expected to pay at least $1.5 million.
Smiley sued PBS in February 2018, claiming that the network had fired him after a sham investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him. PBS later countersued with claims that Smiley had violated his contract by having sexual relations with his employees.
Earlier this year, unsealed documents revealed allegations made against Smiley, which included several allegations from women who felt pressured to engage in sexual activity with Smiley.
The former PBS host has previously spoken out about the allegations, sharing on social media, “I have the utmost respect for all women and I certainly celebrate the courage of those women who have come forth of late to share their own truth. But let me also assure you that I have never groped, inappropriately exposed myself, or coerced any colleague in the workplace, ever, in my 30-year career.”
Smiley also claimed that PBS was “overreacting” to the claims and called the investigation into the claims “sloppy.”
Following the jury’s decision on Wednesday, PBS stated, “We are pleased with the jury’s decision. PBS expects our producing partners to provide a workplace where people feel safe and are treated with dignity and respect. It was important for us to ensure that the courageous women who came forward were able to share their stories and that we continue to uphold the values and standards of our organization.”