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Don Lemon Paid $24.5 Million in Separation from CNN: Report

The network reportedly agreed to backpay the former CNN anchor following his April 2023 ousting

<p>CNN</p> Don Lemon on CNN

CNN

Don Lemon on CNN

Don Lemon and CNN have reportedly reached an agreement since his ousting last year.

The former CNN anchor and the news network reached a separation deal that would pay Lemon approximately $24.5 million, reports TheWrap. The total is reportedly the amount of money Lemon, 57, was set to receive if his final contract ended in 3 and a half years.

Related: Don Lemon Announces New Show for 'Debate and Discussion,' Set to Debut on Social Media Site X

Representatives for Lemon had no comment when reached by PEOPLE on Monday.

After 17 years with CNN, the longtime anchor announced his firing from the network in an X (formerly known as Twitter) post in April 2023. "I was informed this morning by my agent I have been terminated by CNN. I am stunned," Lemon wrote.

Shortly after Lemon’s post, CNN's public relations team released a counter statement, accusing Lemon of misrepresenting what occurred.

"Don Lemon's statement about this morning's events is inaccurate," CNN Communications tweeted. "He was offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter."

Related: Don Lemon Speaks Out for First Time After CNN Firing: 'I Have a Responsibility to Tell the Truth'

ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Don Lemon attends the 13th Annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History on December 8, 2019 in New York City.
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Don Lemon attends the 13th Annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History on December 8, 2019 in New York City.

The journalist’s separation from the network followed his exit from CNN This Morning. In February 2023, Lemon received backlash for comments he made about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley being "past her prime."

He made his remarks on the politician’s age during a segment on the show with co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.

After the Haley comment, Lemon publicly apologized, "agreed to participate in formal training" and was back on air after less than a week.

Two months later, Lemon conducted a confrontational interview with Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, which was rumored to have left "several CNN leaders exasperated" and contributed to the channel’s decision to let him go.

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<p>CNN</p>

CNN

Related: A Timeline of CNN Host Don Lemon's Controversies

In July 2023, Lemon broke his silence in an interview with Rudy Williams of ABC24.

“I have a responsibility not only as a journalist, but as an American, to tell the truth,” Lemon said. “And to abide by the promises of the Constitution, because the Constitution says a more perfect union. Not a perfect union.”

“I'm not a perfect person. No one is," Lemon added. "In order to fulfill the promise of the Constitution, we have to stand up for what is right. We have to stand up for the truth.”

Cindy Ord/Getty Don Lemon attends the 2023 Center Dinner at Cipriani Wall Street on April 13, 2023 in New York City.
Cindy Ord/Getty Don Lemon attends the 2023 Center Dinner at Cipriani Wall Street on April 13, 2023 in New York City.

Additionally, shortly after Lemon was ousted, co-anchor Collins, 31, took over former anchor Chris Cuomo’s 9 p.m. time slot. Phil Mattingly then replaced the two former CNN This Morning co-anchors and worked alongside Harlow, 41. Mattingly and Harlow bid farewell to the show after it wrapped earlier this month.

More recently, Lemon announced last month that he is launching a self-titled newscast, The Don Lemon Show, which will stream first on social media site X.

The Don Lemon Show airs on March 11.

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