CNN Anchor Don Lemon: I Was Molested By A Pedophile

When now-former CNN anchor Thomas Roberts reported on the light sentencing (18 months in jail and then house arrest) Roman Catholic priest Jerome “Father Jeff” Toohey Jr. received after being convicted of molesting children, Roberts also dropped this one on his television audience: he was abused by this man when he was a student at Calvert Hall College High School and went to Toohey for guidance. Now current CNN anchor Don Lemon announced this bombshell on the air while discussing Eddie Long’s allegations: he, too, was molested by a sicko.

It wasn’t a planned revelation, Lemon later tweeted, but in discussing Long’s allegations with three members of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, whom defended their pastor, it just came out. (Says Gabrielle, a girl on the panel: “When I look at different pedophiles, as you said, I don’t see Bishop as one. If you look at various things he’s done for the community and young people in general, none of it boils down to him looking like a pedophile.”)

And with that Lemon, who doesn’t go to great lengths to hide his sexuality, has done what so many more victims need to do: come out. Tell these stories of abuse. Expose these monsters. Turn to your family and friends and find the strength to keep these predators from harming others.

You’re a brave fella, Don. Stay strong. And thank you for sharing your story. (I’d love to hear more.)

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  • Qjersey

    Arrgh, Americans get a hold of a word and continually misuse it…and no one corrects them!

    Our laws are about sex with minors (under 18), not pedophilia.

    The victims were teenagers over the age of consent (16). But some states have Romeo and Juliet provision: a 16 year old can only consent to sex with someone under 21.

    But my point is: Pedophilia means sex with or attraction to children, typically before puberty (under 13).

    Ephebophilia means sex with or attraction to teenagers (13-19).

    Now go get drooly over the A&F catalog and know what to call yourself.

  • Ryan

    Why didn’t CNN just visit a farm and interview some sheep?
    They would have gotten the same responses and it would have only cost them a few piles of freshly-cut grass.

  • Black Pegasus

    I commend Don Lemon for his bravery.

    I was shocked as I watched that interview the other night.

  • the crustybastard

    @Qjersey said, “Arrgh, Americans get a hold of a word and continually misuse it…and no one corrects them!”:

    On the contrary, swarms of pedants like you insist on imposing this stupid, boring and equally imprecise “correction” on their fellows.

    If you insist on applying the clinical terms, then nepiophilia involves children 0-3, pedophilia involves children 4-10, hebephilia involves children 11-14, and ephebophilia involves children 15-19.

    However, the public isn’t actually obligated to use the terminology of clinical diagnoses. “Pedophile” is a generally accepted term for an adult who has a sexual attraction to people who are not adults.

    [CUE: “The More You Know” star]

  • Aaron


    The “public” is obligated to use the correct terminology because one is correct and the other is wrong. The accusers here are 18 and 17-that is not pedophilia by any definition that I’ve ever heard. Should sexual actions with a 12 yo be seen in the same light as with an 18 or 17yo? Using blanket terms like “pedophile” aren’t specific enough and don’t tell you about the severity of the activity. In fact, using the word pedophile to refer to attraction or sexual activity with older teenagers(in Long’s case,legal activity-albeit unethical)actually devalues the word because it lumps in this activity with the far more harmful sexual relations with younger people. It’s common sense and fact to point this out not “pedantry”.

  • Lane

    I don’t care what word you use it is still wrong and people who abuse others when they are position of power are the worst no matter what age the victim is.

  • scott ny'er

    Wow. This is a perfect example of people who are blind, brainwashed or both. Whether it be because of religion, gratitude, devotion, love… no matter. They refuse to see what is clear before their eyes.

    Something is amiss. It sounds like inappropriate behavior. And it’s not just one lone person.

    It’s Jim Jones like. Cultish. And just plain scary. The older dude has more sense about him.

  • hmm

    “Lemon, who doesn’t go to great lengths to hide his sexuality”

    If he doesn’t, then how come I just spent several minutes on google and couldn’t find one mention of Lemon’s sexuality??

    He’s a cutie. But where does he fall on the lgb spectrum?!

  • Black Pegasus

    @hmm: Months ago, I tried to find something on Don’s marital status, and could not.

    I think Don, along with Anderson Cooper, and Wolf Blitzer are what I consider “Ambiguous Gay Men”. They don’t care if you know about their sexuality, yet they don’t give you anything that would confirm it…. I’m not totally sure if Don Lemon is gay or not, but I don’t think it really matters. I just like his professionalism and his anchor style when he’s on the air…

    – oh, and he’s cute too…:)

  • Michael

    Amazing how Don was able to stay so composed through that. This video pretty much tells the story.

  • Cam

    I love how the girl was like “Oh, I don’t think that that is how a predator acts.”

    Really? What do you think happens then in your vast experience. Do you think they come in with horns and a tail and beat people to a pulp before raping them? No, they go after people with shaky home lives, and insinuate themselves into their life, becoming a lifeline etc…

    Ugh, the willful blindness is shocking.

  • the crustybastard


    That is precisely why the overwhelming majority of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by family members and family friends, and precisely the reason why focusing kids on “stranger danger” is a colossal disservice.

  • GrrrlRomeo

    Assuming victims of molestation are gay, or that gays are victims of molestation is bad for both gay people and victims of molestation, as well as bad for gay people who were victims of molestation.

    Now, folks defending Eddie Long are calling Lemon gay just based on him saying that he was a victim of pedophilia. And that’s wrong no matter who is doing it or why.

    Prior to this, I had never heard anything about Don Lemon being gay. It’s quite possible that he is, I have no idea. But I know that this is NOT the story where people should feel free to out him even if he is.

    This is serious, so keep the speculations out of the articles and the coverage.

  • Kim

    Yeah Don is gay he used to date a male anchor at a tv station in Birmingham and has been seen in gay bars in NYC,Philly , Atlanta, etc. I wish people would stop mentioning the sexual orientation of a male victim of sex abuse, it shouldn’t matter.Is it any better if they molest a gay boy vs a straight one ? NO. As for the female church member she appears to be college age and most people still think predators are violent monsters in public. They don’t realize pillars of the community can be predators.

  • spider_orchid

    First of all Don Lemon did a brave thing and I commend him for it.

    Second of all, while the age of the victims is an issue, it’s not THE issue. THE issue is that this man, who has preached against gays and lesbians and had marches and rallies to deny us gay marriage is probably just a self hating queen. Is it possible that these young men just want money? Yes, but its STILL important that they expose Eddie Long for the money grubbing charlatan that he is. Let’s forget the semantics about wtf a pedophile actually is and just agree that if these allegations are true then Eddie Long is a no good f*cking piece of rat sh*t.

  • 0.02

    1) That was very courageous of Don to share that. Brave in fact. I’m glad he did because many more need to be given a space and place to safely say without being attacked for this happening to them so they can heal.

    2) @No. 10, Don and Anderson are gay, but you’ve got the wrong Situation Room queer, Wolf is straight, Suzanne Malveaux is the gay one. There are soooooo many LGBT people at CNN it’s not even funny. The anchors, the producers, the regular strategists, sheesh, good times good times. It’s not a cable news network, no ma’am it’s a Lesbian/Gay hookup organization and I for one am proud to be apart of it :-D

  • Michael

    @GrrrlRomeo: Actually…it’s pretty well known that he’s gay. No one is claiming Don is gay because he was molested, stop projecting.

  • Felox

    Que HUEVOS del Sr.! Mis respetos…

  • Pat Manders

    Hi. guys.

  • AJ

    @0.02: So is T.J Holmes Gay too? Work must be fun at CNN lol

Comments are closed.