Lemon Brutally Mocked After Report Reveals What He Allegedly Did to Female Co-Host in 2008
CNN’s Don Lemon is a misogynist, according to an article in entertainment trade publication Variety published Wednesday.
Variety’s Tatiana Siegel wrote that she’d spoken with “more than a dozen former and current colleagues who painted a picture of a journalist who flouted rules and cozied up to power all while displaying open hostility to many female co-workers,” but had never suffered serious consequences for his actions.
Some of the bigger names at CNN who were allegedly targeted by Lemon include Soledad O’Brien, Nancy Grace, and one-time co-anchor Kyra Phillips.
Lemon apparently claimed that O’Brien, who refers to herself as Afro-Cuban, isn’t actually black — and did so on an editorial call involving 30 staffers, two witnesses told Variety.
“Don denies making any related remark in a derogatory way,” CNN said of the claim, but O’Brien, who wasn’t on the call, had another take.
“Don has long had a habit of saying idiotic and inaccurate things, so it sounds pretty on brand for him,” she said.
Lemon also mocked Grace on-air with a sarcastic impersonation of her, an incident Grace wasn’t willing to comment on — but “a person close to her” told Variety that Grace considers him an “ass” who was consistently “rude, dismissive and really unfamiliar with the [news] content being discussed.”
Perhaps most disturbingly, Lemon allegedly tore up picture and notes on and in the desk then-co-anchor of “Live From” Phillips in 2008, after she’d been assigned to cover Iraq, a role Lemon apparently wanted for himself.
When she returned from Iraq, Siegel wrote, “things only got weirder.”
That’s when Lemon reportedly sent a pair of threatening texts to her cellphone, according to Variety.
“Now you’ve crossed the line, and you’re going to pay for it,” read the text, sent to Phillips’ cellphone from an unknown number that CNN eventually traced back to Lemon.
Lemon was demoted to weekend duty as a result, but he remained with the network.
Most recently, of course, Lemon suggested on-air that former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley shouldn’t be running for president because, at 51, she “isn’t in her prime.”
According to Variety, a CNN spokesperson didn’t exactly deny the accusations.
““Don says the alleged incident never occurred and that he was never notified of any investigation,” the spokesperson said. “CNN cannot corroborate the alleged events from 15 years ago.”
Following the publication of the piece, an unnamed spokesperson for Lemon denied the accusations in a statement to Mediaite.
“The story, which is riddled with patently false anecdotes and no concrete evidence, is entirely based on unsourced, unsubstantiated, 15-year-old anonymous gossip,” the spokesperson said. “It’s amazing and disappointing that Variety would be so reckless.”
CNN ‘s statement to the outlet was another non-denial denial.
“The Variety story provides no actual proof, and instead relies on anonymous sources and unsubstantiated claims from 10 to 15 years ago,” the statement read. “CNN is unable to corroborate the alleged accounts.”
Twitter users, at least, didn’t seem mollified by CNN’s statements.
well this sounds awful. why is cnn still backing him with their spokesperson???
— 𝗦𝗵𝗿𝗼𝗼 (@shroogin) April 5, 2023
@DonLeMon sounds like a really bad person and brings in zero viewers.
Makes one wonder why he’s still employed. pic.twitter.com/PiYbQ32Yum
— JWF (@JammieWF) April 5, 2023
He was mocking Female Diva behavior?
Did he never see his own on Air episodes?
— 🦇𝙱𝙰𝚃𝙼𝙰𝙽🦇 (@Batmancanceeu) April 5, 2023
Don we traced threats to a female coworker from a burner phone back to you.
That wasn’t me.
Ah well we’re satisfied. How about a promotion?
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) April 5, 2023
This story has more receipts than CVS.
— Brian Doherty (@BDOH) April 5, 2023
For now, however, CNN apparently remains committed to keeping Lemon on the air, though he is reportedly being required to attend “formal trading,” Variety said.
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