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McDonald's Ex-CEO Hits Back at Company, Denying He Hid Affairs With Workers

Steve Easterbrook strongly denied McDonald's allegations in a court filing and wants the charges discarded.

McDonald’s  (MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation (MCD) Report former CEO Steve Easterbrook has come out swinging after the fast food giant sued him last week to get back tens of millions of dollars of his pay.

The fast good giant alleges that Easterbrook concealed several sexual relationships with subordinates. Easterbrook strongly denied the allegations in a court filing and wants the charges discarded.

The company says that after it fired Easterbrook last year for one acknowledged relationship, it found out about several others and that he “concealed evidence and lied about his wrongdoing.”

But Easterbrook claims McDonald’s had the dirt about his other in-house dalliances when it agreed to his separation terms, Bloomberg reports. Those terms included stock awards of more than $37 million and $675,000 of severance and health insurance benefits.

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“McDonald’s -- a sophisticated entity represented by numerous internal and external experts when it entered into the separation agreement -- is aware it cannot credibly allege a breach of contract claim,” Easterbrook’s lawyers wrote in a filing Friday with the Delaware Chancery Court, Bloomberg reports.

But the Golden Arches aren’t ready to fold. “McDonald’s stands by its complaint, both the factual assertions and the court in which it was filed,” the company told Bloomberg.

Last week, Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy raised his fair value estimate of McDonald’s stock to $215 from $205. That “reflects a modestly more optimistic near-term sales outlook due to increased marketing, new menu innovations and improved drive-thru efficiency,” he wrote in a commentary.

McDonald’s shares recently traded at $208.95, up 0.93%, and have gained 6% year to date.