Following reports that Chris Cuomo helped his brother with his high-profile sexual harassment scandal, another one of CNN's prime-time anchors faces controversy.

Actor Jussie Smollett revealed during his testimony Monday that CNN anchor Don Lemon texted him during the early stages of the Chicago Police Department's investigation into his alleged hate crime hoax.


Smollett said Lemon texted him that the CPD did not believe Smollett's account of the incident, the New York Post reported. Lemon was relaying information he had gotten from sources in the CPD, according to the outlet.

Lemon did a segment on the Smollett trial during his show Monday night but did not comment on the new revelations.

In 2019 during an interview on Red Table Talk, Lemon acknowledged he reached out to Smollett following news of the incident. He did so under the pretense that Smollett's account of the incident was true — something subsequently called into question.

"So every day I say ... 'I know you think I'm annoying you, but I just want to know how you're doing. And that you're OK. And that if you need somebody, you can talk to me because there's not a lot of us out there,'" Lemon said, according to Entertainment Tonight. "Sometimes he responds, sometimes he doesn't.'"

Lemon said he made contact through mutual friends and did so because he was concerned about Smollett's well-being. He said he had something in common with Smollett because they were both famous black gay men.

Smollett's testimony about Lemon comes after CNN fired prime-time host Chris Cuomo Saturday. Cuomo's firing followed an investigation by an outside law firm and findings by the New York Attorney General's Office.

CNN said the investigation by the New York Attorney General's Office revealed Cuomo played a larger role in helping his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, than he previously described. Andrew Cuomo was facing allegations of sexual misconduct.

CNN initially decided to suspend Cuomo "indefinitely" while it investigated the new documents. The network's decision to fire Cuomo ultimately came after it was contacted by a lawyer detailing a sexual misconduct allegation against him, CNN's media reporter Brian Stelter reported.

A spokesperson for Chris Cuomo told the Wall Street Journal CNN President Jeff Zucker knew about his support for his brother. Chris Cuomo is expected to sue CNN over his firing.


Smollett is on trial for allegedly filing a false police report. He claimed he was the victim of a hate crime, but now, authorities from the CPD allege he staged the incident.

Smollett argued the attack was real and that he had been framed. He is facing six counts of disorderly conduct.

The Washington Examiner reached out to CNN but did not receive a response.