EXCLUSIVE: Don Lemon’s Boyfriend Speaks Out On Interview With Avenatti, Media Industry

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Joe Simonson Media Reporter
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Don Lemon’s boyfriend decided to give his unprompted thoughts to The Daily Caller News Foundation about Monday night’s interview with Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti and the state of journalism more broadly.

Following Lemon’s interview with Avenatti, Tim Malone reached out to me via Twitter direct message to gauge my thoughts on CNN and the controversial lawyer who just threatened a lawsuit against me, my colleague Peter Hasson and my employer.

Malone also appears to believe that Avenatti has befriended the liberal media, but that his time as journalists’ golden boy may be running out.

I asked Malone if he thought his partner, a journalist, should have pushed back on Avenatti more on his assertion that TheDCNF’s report on some of his business history was littered with defamatory statements and was published under orders from President Donald Trump. (RELATED: With Avenatti In The Spotlight, His Own Questionable Past Emerges)

“I guess, yeah,” Malone, a real estate agent, said before adding that he doesn’t believe Avenatti will follow through on his legal threats.

“Ha, he won’t [sue]. I think it’s all a game. Who knows? Trump threatens lawsuits and never does it, [Avenatti] seems to be using all the same strategies…[he] is doing Trumps [sic] strategy.”

While Malone initially said he couldn’t comment on Lemon’s thoughts about Avenatti, he did, in a separate conversation Tuesday morning, suggest that the two are friends or at least get along privately. (RELATED Michael Avenatti Accuses The Daily Caller News Foundation Of ‘Unethical’ Journalism On CNN)

When I told him that I wished “Don would have pushed [Avenatti] more” in their interview, Malone told me to “connect the dots.”

When asked to clarify, he used Fox News host Sean Hannity’s relationship with Trump as an example of other softball interviews.

“Does Hannity push Trump…in interviews or on stories?” Malone asked.

“Haha, well what do you think? They’re close friends,” I responded.

“Bingo!” Malone replied. “You don’t think Avenatti is smart enough to try and befriend the liberal media?”

According to various reports, Lemon and Malone have been dating since at least summer 2017. Lemon came out as gay in his 2011 book “Transparent.”

Currently, Malone works as a salesperson for the real estate agency The Corcoran Group, yet he and Lemon, 52, share a history of both working in media. Malone, who is in his mid-30s, only started working in real estate this year and before held executive positions at various media companies, including Billboard.

Malone was later asked how Lemon could like Avenatti, considering his intimidation tactics against other journalists.

“No one is doing their research,” said Malone. “Well, I think it will start.”

Throughout the conversation, Malone expressed his belief that the media has been “way too easy” on Avenatti and believed TheDCNF’s reporting on him has been “fair.”

“Honestly, I think it’s all a game, everyone is profiting, and doing what rates for their audience,” he said about the media world.

Malone also added that Lemon “loves” network president Jeff Zucker as well as “a lot of the commentators too” and described a supportive workplace where all his colleagues get along well.

Most of the conversation, however, revolved around Avenatti, who, Malone believes, will face increased scrutiny from the press going forward.

“People need to dig more. But they are starting.”

CNN did not respond to a request for comment.

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