Jussie Smollett testified Monday that he had received a text from CNN’s Don Lemon during the early stages of the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) investigation into the alleged hate crime.
Smollett reportedly said he had been in contact with Lemon, saying that he had received a text from the CNN anchor back in 2019 warning Smollett that the CPD did not believe his story. (RELATED: Jussie Smollett Testifies He Used Drugs Alongside, ‘Made Out’ With Bola Osundairo)
He also says he declined to give his phone to CPD in part because earlier he’d gotten a text from Don Lemon “saying he’d gotten a text from CPD saying they don’t believe me.”
objections, then a sidebar.
— Megan Crepeau (@crepeau) December 6, 2021
Smollett is on trial for allegedly fabricating a report to police claiming he was a victim of a racist and homophobic attack by Nigerian brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo. Both brothers testified during the trial, reportedly confirming that Smollett had requested their help with staging the attack.
During his show on Monday night, Lemon did not bring up Smollett’s earlier testimony of their exchange with guest Omar Jiminez. Jiminez had been present at the trial, but instead, the two discussed other aspects of the testimony during the segment.
At the time of the attack back in 2019, Lemon told his viewers that Smollett’s story was “personal” and that the two had been in communication. Lemon admitted that Smollett’s story had raised some questions and that he was “innocent until proven guilty” but “squandered the good will of a whole lot of people” if Smollett’s story turned out to be false, Fox News reported.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo was recently fired due to his use of contacts within the media industry to protect his brother, former Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, amid reports and allegations of sexual assault. Lemon is also being sued by a Hamptons bartender, who claims Lemon rubbed his genital’s before shoving his fingers in the bartender’s face, according to the Daily Mail.
The bartender reportedly said that CNN is “rife with predators and perverts.”