CNN host Dan Lemon, one of the most recognizable personalities in the entire cable news business, has a history of making offensive comments and threatening female employees who angered him, according to a new report.
Variety published a comprehensive exposé This week about Lemon’s behavior regarding women, accusing the former prime-time anchor of inappropriate and threatening behavior, who currently hosts CNN’s revamped morning show with Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow.
The report alleges that when Lemon hosted CNN’s “Live From” in 2008, he became angry when Kyra Phillips, who had left the network, was passed over for a reporting assignment.
Citing unnamed sources at the network at the time, Variety said Phillips received two threatening text messages from an unknown sender. .”
The texts were eventually traced to Lemon by network leadership, the outlet reported.
“Don claims the alleged incident never happened and that he was never notified of any investigation,” a spokesperson for the network told Variety. “CNN Can’t Confirm Events That Happened 15 Years Ago.”
In a separate statement to The Hill, a CNN spokesperson called Variety’s report “irresponsible.”
“False stories and an unsubstantiated story based entirely on baseless, unfounded, 15-year-old anonymous rumours,” the spokesman said. “It’s surprising and disappointing that Variety has been so irresponsible.”
Lemon’s views on women have come under scrutiny in recent weeks after he was widely admonished by critics inside and outside the network for comments he made shortly after announcing his bid for the White House against Republican presidential nominee Nikki Haley.
“Nikki Haley is not in her prime, sorry. “A woman is considered prime in her 20s and 30s and maybe her 40s,” Lemon said on air earlier this year, which drew an internal rebuke from network president Chris Licht and calls from women’s rights groups for her to be fired.
“A woman’s age does not define her personally or professionally,” Lemon apologized for the comment about Haley on Twitter. “There are countless women in my life who prove that every day.”
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