BANG Showbiz English
Don Lemon has reportedly left CNN with “at least” $25 million from the network.
The 51-year-old former co-host of ‘CNN This Morning’ was fired by bosses after 17 years following his sexism scandal earlier this year, and Page Six reports he had signed a high $7 million-a-year contract with the broadcaster in September that runs until 2026, which should apparently entitle him to the massive pay-off.
Page Six added Don has hired heavyweight entertainment attorney Bryan Freedman to secure his exit and probe whether the former anchor is entitled to even more cash.
A source with knowledge of the host’s deal at CNN told the outlet: “Don was signed on a high seven-figure deal for the morning show last September, and is assured by CNN he will be paid the remainder of his contract, which runs until 2026.
“He has retained lawyer Bryan Freedman to conclude this deal, and also to investigate if Don could be eligible to further damages surrounding the conditions of his exit.”
Bryan is a co-founder of the law firm Freedman and Taitelman LLP and is representing Don’s ex-CNN colleague Chris Cuomo, who remains in arbitration with CNN and is demanding $125 million for being fired in 2021 for advising his brother, then-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, during the latter’s public scandals.
Don had taken a temporary leave from the network in February after he claimed on-air presidential candidate Nikki Haley “isn’t in her prime” as a 51-year-old woman, and he announced on Monday (24.04.23) morning he had been sacked.
He said on Twitter about finding out from his agent he had lost his job: “After 17 years at CNN I would have thought someone in management would have the decency to tell me directly.
“At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network.
“It is clear that there are some larger issues at play. With that said, I want to thank my colleagues and the many teams I have worked with for an incredible run.
“They are the most talented journalists in the business, and I wish them all the best.”
But CNN’s communications team branded his statement as false.
It tweeted: “Don Lemon’s statement about this morning’s events is inaccurate. “He was offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter.”
Network CEO Chris Licht confirmed the firing in an internal message, thanking Lemon for 17 years on air and telling staff he would “forever be a part of the CNN family”.