Don Lemon Responds to Controversy Over Contract Negotiation with Elon Musk's X

By Leira Aquino

Mar 20, 2024 11:31 PM EDT

Former CNN anchor Don Lemon responded to allegations about his contract negotiation demands with Elon Musk's X following the termination of "The Don Lemon Show" deal. Lemon had reportedly demanded $5 million, a Tesla Cybertruck, and more from Elon Musk before the tech billionaire canceled his new show on X.
(Photo : Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Don Lemon, the former CNN anchor, has spoken out to address the allegations surrounding his contract negotiation demands with Elon Musk's X, amidst ongoing tension after 'The Don Lemon Show' deal was terminated by the platform.

During a podcast interview with Mediaite's editor in chief, Aidan McLaughlin, Don Lemon addressed the rumors in light of reports from The New York Post outlining his alleged diva-like demands during negotiations with the tech mogul's media venture.

Don Lemon: 'People Negotiate All The Time'

Initially, Lemon's representatives denied the allegations, but Lemon refrained from explicitly denying them himself. Instead, he labeled the controversy as "nonsense" while acknowledging the standard practice of negotiating terms in deal-making.

"People negotiate all the time," he said. 

The New York Post report provided detailed insights into Lemon's alleged demands, including a desire to host the first space podcast via SpaceX and a request for a free Cybertruck, among other perks.

A space journey solely through Musk's company SpaceX comes with a price tag of no less than $300,000.

These reported demands also included a $5 million advance on top of an $8 million base salary, equity stakes, and significant control over content policies and creative direction.

READ NEXT: Don Lemon Demands $5 Million Advance, Tesla Cybertruck, Equity Stake in X Before Elon Musk Canceled His Talk Show: Report

'The Don Lemon Show' Abruptly Canceled on X After First Interview

Lemon's exit from X unfolded against the backdrop of a charged interview with Musk. During the discussion, Lemon delved into the tech tycoon's political stances, purported drug consumption, and approaches to content regulation.

Scheduled as the debut episode of Lemon's new talk show on X (formerly Twitter), the interview with Musk was abruptly scrapped by the billionaire shortly after it was recorded, leading to the cancellation of the show before its premiere.

Lemon's representatives have maintained their stance, vehemently denying the sensational claims made against their client. 

Jay Sures, Lemon's agent, dismissed the allegations as "absolute, complete utter nonsense." 

Former CNN spokesperson Allison Gollust similarly refuted the reported demands as entirely false.

"There is nothing in your list of demands that you claim Don made of X that is true," she said. Literally nothing."

READ MORE: X-The Don Lemon Show Deal Termination Update: Host Calls Elon Musk His Most 'Sensitive' Subject

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