Let me tell you what got my attention about this and I have never admitted this on television. I’m a victim of a pedophile when I was a kid. Someone who was much older than me.
— CNN anchor Don Lemon, during a segment on alleged sex predator “Bishop” Eddie Long, 9/25/2010
Consider how difficult this had to be for Don Lemon. I can’t imagine what ran through his mind as he built up to the moment of disclosure of this painful part of his life on live international television.
CNN anchor Don Lemon made a very personal admission in the most public of ways – during his live newscast. Lemon was discussing the sexual abuse cases against Bishop Eddie Long with three members of Long’s church who continue to support him.
Lemon had just played a soundbite from the lawyer of one of Long’s accusers about how the bishop allegedly got close to one of the young men in his church.
…Lemon’s admission led to an audible gasp from one of his guests. “I’ve never admitted that on television and I never told my mom until I was 30 years old,” Lemon said later in the segment. “Especially African-American men don’t want to talk about those things.”
What I do know is that crossing the line from journalist to interested party had to be beyond difficult. Facing Long supporters had to push some seriously painful buttons. Weighing it all against the possible good it can do for those who suffered similar abuse out there is immeasurable. Lemon’s strength to share will help someone else muster up the courage to tell their story.