CNN pays hefty settlement to ousted anchor Don Lemon

CNN and former anchor Don Lemon have reportedly settled their differences with an agreement following Lemon’s dismissal from the network last year. The settlement involves CNN compensating Lemon with $24.5 million, a sum that reflects what Lemon would have earned had he completed the remaining term of his contract, which was supposed to last another three and a half years, as per reports from The Wrap.

The controversy surrounding Lemon ignited when he made comments deemed sexist during a broadcast, which led to his firing from the network. Lemon, at 57, faced backlash for his remarks about presidential candidate Nikki Haley, suggesting she was “past her prime” at the age of 51. This incident occurred after Lemon transitioned from his evening program “Don Lemon Tonight” to a morning slot, where he co-hosted with Caitlin Collins and Poppy Harlow.

Following the incident, Lemon took a short break and upon his return, issued an apology for his statements. He expressed his regret through a tweet in February 2023, stating, “I appreciate the opportunity to be back on @CNNThisMorning today. To my network, my colleagues, and our incredible audience — I’m sorry. I’ve heard you, I’m learning from you, and I’m committed to doing better.”

Despite his apology, Lemon revealed he was blindsided by his termination, learning about it not from the network directly but through his agent. Lemon shared his disappointment and surprise over the manner of his dismissal after a 17-year tenure with CNN, expecting a more direct communication from the network’s management.

CNN, however, contested Lemon’s portrayal of the events surrounding his firing, labeling his account as “inaccurate.” According to the network, Lemon had an opportunity to engage with management but chose to publicize his departure on social media instead.

Post-CNN, Lemon embarked on a new venture, launching a show on Elon Musk’s platform X earlier in the year, marking a new chapter in his career in journalism. Lemon has also notably focused on his personal well-being, achieving a significant weight loss of 30 pounds during his time away from the network.

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