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Don Lemon owed at the very least $25M on CNN contract — however readies for doable authorized combat

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Fired CNN anchor Don Lemon is leaving the community with at the very least $25 million — however has nonetheless lawyered up for a possible authorized battle together with his former employer, Web page Six has solely confirmed.

Lemon, the 51-year-old former co-host of “CNN This Morning,” had signed a excessive $7 million a yr contract with CNN in September that runs till 2026, sources mentioned.

In the meantime, Lemon has employed high-powered Los Angeles leisure lawyer Bryan Freedman to safe his exit and probe if the previous anchor is entitled to an extra settlement, Web page Six is instructed.

Freedman, the co-founder the regulation agency Freedman & Taitelman LLP, can also be representing Lemon’s former CNN fired colleague Chris Cuomo — who stays in arbitration with CNN and is demanding $125 million. Cuomo was canned in 2021 for advising his brother, Andrew Cuomo, through the former New York governor’s public scandals.

A supply with data of Lemon’s deal at CNN mentioned: “Don was signed on a excessive seven-figure deal for the morning present final September, and is assured by CNN he can be paid the rest of his contract, which runs till 2026.

Poppy Harlow, Don Lemon and Kaitlan Collins on "CNN This Morning"
Lemon’s tenure at “CNN This Morning,” with Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins, had been a lightning rod for controversy.

“He has retained lawyer Bryan Freedman to conclude this deal, and in addition to analyze if Don might be eligible to additional damages surrounding the situations of his exit.”

Cuomo stays in litigation with the community and claims he was entitled to a staggering $125 million payout as a result of CNN allegedly defamed him on his manner out of the door. He referred to as his termination “the epitome of hypocrisy” by the scandal-scarred information outlet, in line with the authorized papers.

Don Lemon tweet about leaving CNN
Lemon tweeted about his departure Monday — and CNN was fast to refute his model of occasions.

In a scorched-earth submitting with the JAMS mediation and arbitration service filed in 2022, Cuomo alleged that his former employer “has a long-established sample and apply of selectively imposing its insurance policies based mostly on cynical calculations of public notion.”

The dramatic information of Lemon’s firing was announced by the anchor himself, who tweeted that the community knowledgeable his agent that he had been let go as a substitute of executives telling him instantly.

Tim Malone and Don Lemon walking three dogs
Lemon and fiancé Tim Malone have been seen strolling their canines Tuesday.

CNN then launched an announcement denying Lemon’s declare, saying: “Don Lemon’s assertion about this morning’s occasions is inaccurate. He was supplied a possibility to fulfill with administration however as a substitute launched an announcement on Twitter.”

Lemon has been the topic of controversy since his morning present debuted late final yr. Earlier this month, CNN boss Chris Licht admitted that the previous primetime star has been a “lightning rod” for controversy — days after a damning report in Selection alleged years of “diva-like” and misogynistic habits by Lemon.

Don Lemon
Lemon (above) has employed lawyer Bryan Freedman — who additionally represents former CNN star Chris Cuomo.
AFP through Getty Photos

Lemon has employed former CNN flack Allison Gollust as his disaster spokesperson following his ouster. Gollust’s affair together with her then-CNN boss Jeff Zucker was uncovered within the wake of Cuomo’s firing, and each she and Zucker swiftly departed the community.

Gollust and Zucker conspired for years to maintain their “open secret” affair quiet with “an internet of lies,” The Submit reported in 2022. Gollust repeatedly instructed feminine reporters they have been “sexist” and “misogynistic” for asking if she was sleeping together with her boss, at the same time as the 2 carried on their trysts.

Jeff Zucker, Tom Brokaw, Allison GOllust
The previous anchor has employed former CNN flack Allison Gollust as his disaster advisor. Gollust, seen right here with Jeff Zucker (left) and Tom Brokaw, left the community after her affair with Zucker was uncovered.
Patrick McMullan through Getty Photos

An insider added, “There isn’t any irony misplaced on anybody within the media that Gollust — who lined up her personal affair by attacking reporters who dared to ask her about her relationship with Zucker as sexist and misogynists — is now representing Lemon amid his accusations of bullying feminine colleagues. Don wants to search out somebody to symbolize him who has some grasp of the reality.”

Gollust didn’t remark, nor did Lemon’s agent. Freedman didn’t reply and CNN didn’t instantly get again to Web page Six.

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