Don Lemon Knew About Impending Firing for Days Despite Claiming He Was 'Stunned' About Monday Decision

Don Lemon knew about CNN's impending decision to fire him for days, despite claiming he was "stunned" about it. On Monday, the now-former network journalist issued a statement, announcing he'd be let go. However, sources reportedly told The Daily Beast that had been well-known for weeks that Lemon was going to be out at the network, and that he even former CNN comms specialist Allison Gollust to help him when it came time came to reveal the news.

In his statement, Lemon wrote, "I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN. I am stunned. After 17 years at CNN I would have thought that someone in management would have the decency to tell me directly. At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network. It is clear there are some larger issues at play." He then added, "With that said, I want to thank my colleagues and the many teams I have worked with for an incredible run. They are the most talented journalists in the business, and I wish them all the best."

CNN CEO Chris Licht initially confirmed Lemon's exit in by stating, "Don will forever be a part of the CNN family, and we thank him for his contributions over the past 17 years. We wish him well and will be cheering him on in his future endeavors." In regards to CNN This Morning — the network's morning show that Lemon helped launch in late 2022 with co-anchors Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins — Licht stated, "We are committed to its success."

Following Lemon's personal comments, indicating he'd been let go, CNN's communications team released its own statement. "Don Lemon's statement about this morning's events is inaccurate," the network wrote in s tweet. "He was offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter."

Lemon's CNN exit comes after months of controversy surrounding the journalist, as well as a rocky start to CNN This Morning. Things seemed to escalate back in February after Lemon made some sexist comments about women while discussing Republican politician Nikki Haley. Following the comments, Lemon was absent from the show for a while and was said to be undergoing "formal training" regarding his rhetoric.

The journalist eventually returned to CNN This Morning, but the tension between himself and his co-host — specifically Collins — was quite palpable. It was reported that the feud boiled over, with Lemon allegedly screaming at Collins. More accusations eventually emerged, with one report claiming that in the past, Lemon made career threats toward CNN's Live From host Kyra Phillips. Lemon has denied all the allegations against him.