CNN’s Don Lemon Compared to Fired Cuomo for Role with Jussie Smollett
CNN host Don Lemon is in hot water after Jussie Smollett testified Monday he tipped him off about being investigated by police.
Smollett, 39, told the jury he first found out police doubted his alleged hate crime attack when Lemon, 55, texted him, Fox News’ Matt Finn reported from the Chicago courthouse.
The former “Empire” star said this was a key part of why he did not hand his phone records to the Chicago Police Department, the New York Post reports.
While covering the trial this week, Lemon did not mention his own involvement, sparking comparisons to disgraced anchor Chris Cuomo, who was fired over the weekend for his role in his brother and former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s sexual harassment scandal.
Lemon spoke with CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez for the “latest from the trial” and the two discussed Smollett’s “really risky” decision to take the stand, the Post reports, but not once did he mention his “personal” relationship with the actor, which he admitted in 2019. The CNN host told Entertainment Tonight Lemon texted Smollett “every day” to check on him.
At the time, Lemon told viewers Smollett is “innocent until proven guilty,” but may have “squandered the good will of a while lot of people” if it was a hoax.
“He even lied to a lot of people… including me. And that’s not cool,” Lemon said. “He squandered the good will of very high-profile people who one day may be running this country like Kamala Harris and Cory Booker and people like President Trump.”
In addition to the Smollett scandal, Lemon also faces an accuser who told Fox News Digital that slammed CNN as a “predator protecting machine.”
Dustin Hice filed a lawsuit against Lemon two years ago alleging sexually charged assault and battery at a Long Island bar during the summer of 2018.
“They’re a network rife with predators and perverts,” Hice said. “Lemon will have to testify under oath in the near future, but it’s good to see that there’s finally some accountability happening.”