According to a new report, CNN host Don Lemon, one of the most notorious figures in cable news, has a history of making offensive remarks and threatening female employees who anger him.
diverse Spread wide This week on Lemon’s behavior in relation to women, alleging a pattern of abusive and threatening behavior by the former prime-time anchor, who currently hosts the revamped CNN show alongside Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow.
The report claims that, among other incidents, while Lemon was anchoring CNN’s “Live From” in 2008, he became enraged when he was passed over for a reporting job in favor of Kyra Phillips, who has since left the network.
Citing unnamed sources at the network at the time, Variety reported that Phillips received two threatening text messages from an anonymous sender after she was given a reporting assignment that said, “You’ve crossed the line, and you’ll pay for it.”
The outlet reported that the texts were eventually traced back by network leadership to Lemon.
“Don says the alleged incident never happened and that he was not notified of any investigation,” a spokesperson for the network told Variety. CNN cannot confirm the alleged events of 15 years ago.
In a separate statement to The Hill, a CNN spokesperson called Variety’s reporting “reckless.”
“The story, which is peppered with patently false tales and no concrete evidence, is based entirely on anonymous, unsubstantiated, 15-year-old gossip,” the spokesperson said. “It’s surprising and frustrating that Variety can be so reckless.”
Lemon’s comments about women have come under scrutiny in recent weeks after he was widely blamed by pundits on and off the network for comments he made about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley shortly after announcing her run for the White House.
“Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime, sorry. I’m sorry,” Lemon said on the air earlier this year, a joke that earned him an internal rebuke from network president Chris Licht and calls from women’s rights groups to fire him.
“A woman’s age does not define her either personally or professionally,” Lemon wrote on Twitter as part of her apology for the remark about Hailey. “I have countless women in my life who prove it every single day.”
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