Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Fast food giant McDonald's said in a court filing Monday that ousted CEO Steve Easterbrook has no legal ground to stand on to keep millions of dollars he received after he was fired last year.
Easterbrook was dismissed last fall after it became known he had a relationship with a subordinate. The company paid him a $42 million severance package because it dismissed him "without cause" -- but is now trying to get the money back after saying he'd hidden other relationships with other employees, arguing that retroactively constitutes cause.
Easterbrook has gone to court to have the lawsuit dismissed.
"Easterbrook's suggestion that, his lies notwithstanding, McDonald's got a good enough deal by ridding itself of him has no legal merit," McDonald's answered in the filing Monday.
McDonald's said Easterbrook also sent dozens of nude and explicit photographs and videos depicting the women from his company email account.
Easterbrook argues that all emails and data from his phone were previously available and accessible to the company before he signed the separation agreement.
"After discovery, on a full factual record, Easterbrook can attempt to argue that McDonald's should have investigated differently and uncovered his deceit sooner," McDonald's attorneys wrote in Monday's filing.
"When McDonald's investigated, Steve Easterbrook lied," the company said in a statement to CNBC. "He violated the company's policies, disrespected its values, and abused the trust of his co-workers, the board, our franchisees, and our shareholders.
"His argument that he should not be held responsible for even repeated bad acts is morally bankrupt and fails under the law."