CNN anchor Don Lemon allegedly sent disgraced actor Jussie Smollett texts during the Chicago Police Department’s investigation of his alleged hoax hate crime.
Testifying at his own trial on Monday, the former Empire star Jussie Smollett reportedly said under oath that he received a text message from Don Lemon informing him that Chicago police did not believe his account of what happened the night he claimed to have been the victim of a hate crime by two white Trump supporters.
According to the Daily Mail, Smollett’s remark “was presented and then struck from the record.”
“He said things began to seem off when he received a text message from Lemon claiming the Chicago police had reached out to him to say they didn’t believe Smollett,” noted the Mail.
After news broke that Jussie Smollett allegedly hired two brothers from Nigeria to stage the hate crime, Don Lemon, who had initially supported the actor, said that they were acquaintances.
“He even lied to a lot of people… including me. And that’s not cool,” Lemon said to his viewers. “He squandered the good will of very high-profile people who one day may be running this country like Kamala Harris and Cory Booker and people like President Trump.”
News that Don Lemon allegedly used his position as a CNN anchor to get inside information about Smollett’s investigation comes shortly after the network fired Chris Cuomo for his using CNN connections to help his brother’s crisis team as he stood accused of multiple sexual misconduct allegations.
Smollett faces six counts of felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report, a class 4 felony that carries a maximum sentence of up to 3 years in prison, though experts believe he will likely get probation and be sentenced to community service if convicted. Smollett maintains that he did not stage his own hate crime, alleging that Abimbola and Olabingo Osundairo – the two brothers he allegedly hired – attacked him and then demanded $1 million for them not to testify.
During his testimony on Monday, Smollett said that he and Abimbola had a sexual relationship (the brother denies it) and that he never trusted Olabingo whenever he’d come around.