Don Lemon attends 12th Annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at American Museum of Natural History on December 09, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
*A rep for Don Lemon has clapped back at reports that the CNN anchor is a misogynist with a history of “diva-like behavior” on the job.
According to Variety, Lemon previously called one of his producers fat to her face and mocked Nancy Grace on-air. A source close to Grace said “she thinks he’s an a**” and that Lemon was always “rude, dismissive and really unfamiliar with the [news] content being discussed.”
“That was the beginning of when you knew that Don was kind of volatile and didn’t say good things about women,” an insider said of the Grace incident, OK Magazine reports.
Additionally, Lemon sent threatening texts to Kyra Phillips, his former co-anchor.
Variety’s report includes accounts from Lemon’s 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.”
According to the report, Lemon told Soledad O’Brien that she isn’t Black and he once fumed on social media about Anderson Cooper getting more airtime than him.
“That led to a come-to-Jesus moment,” a senior executive spilled, OK! reports. “Don was told, ‘Look, you’ve got to address your behavior. Your performance as a reporter is great. It’s your behavior that’s gotta improve. It’s what’s going to derail you if you’re not careful.’”
One female colleague said of Lemon, “He likes celebrity. He likes fame, likes power. He was no longer the same person.”
“Don always wanted to be front and center on anything high profile, especially anything involving race,” another colleague shared.
The Variety report also alleged that Lemon has repeatedly avoided “facing any meaningful consequences.”
A representative for Lemon said these defamatory allegations are “reckless.”
“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 representative said in a statement to The Times.
“It’s amazing and disappointing that Variety would be so reckless,” the rep added.
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