REPORT: Don Lemon Weighs Lawsuit Against Variety For Exposing Alleged Mistreatment Of Female Coworkers

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James Lynch Reporter
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CNN host Don Lemon is weighing a potential lawsuit against Variety for its Wednesday exposé alleging he mistreated female coworkers, Insider reports.

Lemon is allegedly “apoplectic” about Variety’s exposé, and has spoken with attorneys about a possible lawsuit against the publication, a person familiar with Lemon’s thinking told Insider.

Lemon used an anonymous phone number to send threatening text messages to former co-anchor Kyra Phillips in 2008, according to Variety’s report. He was allegedly jealous of Phillips because she was assigned to cover Iraq instead of him, two anonymous sources who formerly worked at CNN told the publication.

CNN traced the alleged anonymous messages back to Lemon and pulled him from his weekday show with Phillips after an internal investigation, Variety reported. (RELATED: REPORT: Don Lemon Openly Dated CNN Staffer Nearly 20 Years His Junior)

“The story, which is riddled with patently false anecdotes and no concrete evidence, is entirely based on unsourced, unsubstantiated, 15-year-old anonymous gossip. It’s amazing and disappointing that Variety would be so reckless,” Lemon said in a statement to Insider via a spokesperson.

Lemon allegedly called an unnamed female producer “fat” to her face, multiple sources told Variety. The alleged incident was part of a purported pattern of misogynistic and “diva-like” behavior Lemon exhibited in the workplace, according to the outlet.

Lemon was widely criticized in February for saying Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, 51, is past her “prime” while co-anchoring “CNN This Morning.” Lemon was absent from the show in the following days and later apologized for the remarks.