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Steve Easterbrook McDonald's/PA Images

Former McDonald’s chief executive asks court to dismiss company's lawsuit against him

Steve Easterbrook left McDonald’s in November.

FORMER MCDONALD’S CHIEF executive Steve Easterbrook is asking a court to dismiss the company’s lawsuit against him, calling it “meritless and misleading”.

The fast food chain sued Easterbrook last week, seeking to reclaim millions in compensation paid to him.

McDonald’s sacked Easterbrook in November after he admitted to exchanging videos and text messages in a consensual, non-physical relationship with an employee.

But McDonald’s said it conducted a second investigation last month after it received an anonymous tip that Easterbrook had a physical relationship with another employee.

McDonald’s now alleges that Easterbrook had sexual relationships with three employees and destroyed evidence.

The company’s board says it would not have agreed to Easterbrook’s separation agreement – which allowed him to keep more than £32 million in stock-based benefits – if it had that alleged information when he was dismissed.

In a response filed late on Friday in Delaware Chancery Court, Easterbrook said McDonald’s hired outside lawyers to investigate his conduct, including interviewing employees and reviewing electronic information, before it signed off on his separation agreement.

“McDonald’s is improperly attempting to get out of its bargain nine months after the fact and despite admitting it always possessed the information upon which is it now relying,” Easterbrook’s response read.

McDonald’s rejected Easterbrook’s arguments today.

“McDonald’s stands by its complaint, both the factual assertions and the court in which it was filed,” a spokesperson for the company said.