CNN host Don Lemon called Jussie Smollett a liar just hours after the ex–”Empire” actor was found guilty of reporting false hate crimes against himself in 2019.
On Thursday, Dec. 9, Lemon and legal commentator Joey Jackson reviewed the former “Empire” actor’s guilty conviction.
Even though Lemon addressed Smollett’s “lies” briefly, he refrained from mentioning a portion of the actor’s testimony, which disclosed that Lemon was the one who informed Smollett that the police were investigating him.
According to the CNN anchor, in an attempt to justify his bogus story, Smollett “had to make up too many lies.” Earlier, the former actor claimed two Trump supporters assaulted him and wrapped a rope around his neck in Chicago in 2019.
“I guess he got caught up in that because he took the stand himself. He got angry with the prosecutor as the prosecutor poked holes in his story, calling the only other witnesses liars,” Lemon said according to the New York Post.
Lemon went on to say that Smollett’s actions could make it more difficult for “legitimate victims of hate crimes” to be appropriately treated.
Lemon’s reaction to Smollett’s guilty verdict was diametrically opposed to his first reporting on the story in 2019.
He told his CNN audiences that the issue of Jussie Smollett was “personal” to him because they were pals.
During a 2019 interview with Entertainment Tonight, Lemon also said he texts Smollett “every day” to check on the actor’s well-being.
According to Jackson, Lemon’s legal analyst guest, Smollett’s testimony was “devastating” to his case.
“His narrative, Mr. Smollett’s, didn’t carry the day and the jury discerned something was amiss and they found him accountable. So that was the right result.” said Jackson.
Jackson added that Smollett might face jail time because the judge intended to “send a message to all others that you probably shouldn’t be doing this.”