It turns out Don Lemon’s recent sexist remarks weren’t out of character for the CNN anchor.
According to a bombshell report by Variety, Lemon allegedly has a long history of workplace misogyny and was constantly engaged in “diva-like” behavior toward his female colleagues.
The 57-year-old allegedly once called a female producer fat to her face and was pulled off-air in 2008 due to his “provocative antics” while co-anchoring “Live From” with Kyra Phillips.
In fact, sources alleged to the outlet that Lemon even sent Phillips threatening text messages after she was given a highly coveted assignment over him.
Now youve crossed the line, and youre going to pay for it, read the alleged message sent from an anonymous number that was reportedly traced back to Lemon.
However, a spokesperson for Lemon told The New York Post that he never sent those messages. (Despite CNN removing Lemon from co-anchoring with Phillips following an internal investigation.)
Don says the incident never occurred and that he was never notified of any investigation, the rep told The Post. CNN cannot corroborate the alleged events from 15 years ago.
Around the same time, Lemon got into hot water with journalist Nancy Graceafter mocking her on air.
That was the beginning of when you knew that Don was kind of volatile and didnt say good things about women, a source that was on set that day told Variety.
Although Grace didn’t comment on the matter, an insider claimed she thinks Lemon is “an ass” that was always rude, dismissive and really unfamiliar with the [news] content being discussed.
Other staffers agreed with this sentiment, claiming Lemon was a shameless name dropper, constantly showed up late and would “bend” any rule to suit his own needs.
This became evident when the then-41-year-old reportedly started dating a 22-year-old junior staffer despite the obvious power imbalance.
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Soon after, he was back bashing women. The anchor was reportedly furious after Soledad O’Brien was chosen to host CNNs Black in America docuseries, which launched in 2008.
In retaliation, the anchor allegedly questioned O’Brien’s race at a staff meeting she was unable to attend.
Don has long had a habit of saying idiotic and inaccurate things, so it sounds pretty on brand for him, O’Brien told Variety about his alleged comments.
It wasn’t until 2009 that Lemon finally had a “come-to-Jesus moment.”
Sources claim the new anchor was complaining about Anderson Cooper getting more airtime than him following the Michael Jackson tribute at the Staples Center, pushing executives to pull him aside for a chat.
Don was told, Look, youve got to address your behavior. Your performance as a reporter is great. Its your behavior thats gotta improve. Its whats going to derail you if youre not careful, a former senior exec told the outlet.
It must’ve gone in one ear and out the other as Lemon faced backlash in February for claiming presidential candidate Nikki Haley was not in her prime due to her age. He was subsequently taken off air for a few days and ordered to undergo sensitivity training.
He was then blasted on a larger stage when Everything Everywhere All at Once actress Michelle Yeoh, 60, told women not to let anyone tell you you are ever past your prime during her acceptance speech at the 2023 Oscars.
However, a CNN spokesperson denied nearly all of the claims in the wide-ranging Variety story.
The story, which is riddled with patently false anecdotes and no concrete evidence, is entirely based on unsourced, unsubstantiated, 15-year-old anonymous gossip, they told The Post.
Its amazing and disappointing that Variety would be so reckless.