CNN host Don Lemon has been open about his own sexual assault from a pedophile when he was young. It was eight years ago when he came forward about it on national television and he revealed he didn’t tell his mother until he was 30 years old. But it wasn’t until he revealed a family member came out about her own assault that he broke down.
“It’s tough to — even now it’s tough,” Lemon said after watching the video of his confession. “I did later write about it in my book, and I’ve talked about it since. But it’s never easy.”
He noted that people frequently ask why survivors don’t come out about what happened to them.
“Why is it so hard to talk about? Well, part of it is fear,” Lemon explained. “And part of it is doubt. Will I be believed? Will I be blamed? Will I have evidence? Do I have to relive what happened? Will everyone judge me? And if I speak out will it even matter? I’ve been open about my experience with sexual assault, and I know firsthand that no one ever wants to come forward. Even to family, friends, or loved ones, let alone the entire country.”
Last week, Lemon was on vacation when a family member texted him saying she believed Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers. When she explained why, Lemon teared up remembering her fear.
“Out of the blue she texted me and she said, this is a quote, ‘I believe her because I am a product of the ‘Me too’ movement,'” he recalled. “And I texted right back and I said, ‘What? No way. Why didn’t you say anything?’ And she replied, ‘Shame. I thought he loved me.'”
The family member explained that she was assaulted by her boyfriend years ago.
“And even though it happened then, there is still pain now,” Lemon continued. “And it still matters now. So I’ve been thinking about why she told me this and about why she didn’t tell me sooner. And I’ve been thinking about why these women are coming forward to tell the whole country what they say happened. Knowing that they will be judged.”
He noted he believes in everyone being innocent until proven guilty, but it doesn’t mean demoralizing an accuser. It doesn’t mean turning a survivor into a criminal.
“Are we interested in truth?” he asked about Kavanaugh. “Are we interested in healing? Or is there, as there always seems to be these days, a political game being played with people’s lives?”
Watch the video below:
‘They offered him no humanity’: Floyd family attorney rips Minneapolis for adding ‘insult to injury’
On Friday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," Ben Crump, the attorney for the family of George Floyd, expressed his outrage at how local officials are handling the case — and demanded harsher prosecution of the officers responsible.
"The family does not trust the Minneapolis Police Department or anybody affiliated with the Minneapolis Police Department, Anderson," said Crump. "Remember the first report that came out, they gave so much false information in that report, talking about George was resisting. George was threatening, saying that he died of a medical condition. Never once mentioning the fact that this officer had his knee on his neck, not just for one minute, two minutes, three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, six minutes, seven minutes but for eight minutes ... people need to understand, the last eight minutes of his life he was struggling to breathe, telling them I couldn't breathe, and they offered him no humanity."
WATCH: Protester scales Secret Service building to spray-paint profane anti-Trump message
On Friday, protests around the country continued against the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
As CNN covered shots of protests in Washington, D.C., one demonstrator could clearly be seen scaling a Secret Service building, before taking out a can of spray paint and writing "F**K TRUMP" on the edifice.
Some commenters on social media noticed, and tweeted their support for the protester.
CNN’s Jim Acosta walks through all the times Trump has ‘thrown gasoline’ on racial tension
On CNN Friday, following President Donald Trump's abrupt exit from a press conference following a racially charged tweet, chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta broke down President Donald Trump's history of stoking racial tensions during moments of crisis.
"He is trying to clean up this tweet that he posted last night," said Acosta. "First, just what the president said a few moments ago. He said the looters in Minneapolis should not be able to drown out the voice of so many peaceful protesters. That, obviously, is a very mild version of what he was trying to say or he claims he was trying to say last night when he tweeted, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." That obviously is an expression steeped in all kinds of ugliness. The Miami Police chief back in 1967, when there was unrest in that city, used that expression. George Wallace, the segregationist, used words like that in 1968."