Home / Gossip / CNN’s Don Lemon crosses line with Bill Cosby rape accuser

CNN’s Don Lemon crosses line with Bill Cosby rape accuser

Joan Tarshis talks to CNN's Don Lemon on Tuesday about her rape allegation against Bill Cosby.CNN Joan Tarshis talks to CNN’s Don Lemon on Tuesday about her rape allegation against Bill Cosby.

CNN anchor Don Lemon confronted his biting criticism with an on-air apology.

He acknowledged his lewd suggestion Wednesday afternoon after suggesting to Bill Cosby rape accuser Joan Tarshis that she take a bite out of the comedian’s penis rather than perform oral sex.

Tarshis, who came forward on Sunday, claimed she was sexually assaulted by Cosby as a 19-year-old aspiring actress in 1969.

She appeared with Lemon on Tuesday and the conversation went south fast.

The mocking hashtag #DonLemonReporting quickly became a trending topic on Twitter.Dario Cantatore/Getty Images The mocking hashtag #DonLemonReporting quickly became a trending topic on Twitter.

“You know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it,” Lemon told Tarshis during a TV interview.

“I was kind of stoned at the time, and quite honestly, that didn’t even enter my mind,” Tarshis answered. “Now I wish it would have.”

“Right. Meaning the using of the teeth, right?” Lemon prodded.

Tarshis didn’t bat an eye at the offensive line of questioning, but the mocking hashtag #DonLemonReporting quickly became a trending topic on Twitter.

After being deluged with criticism for his controversial line of questioning, Lemon apologized on the air Wednesday afternoon.

“A word about my interview last night with Cosby accuser Joan Tarshis,” he said. “As I am a victim myself I would never want to suggest that any victim could have prevented a rape.”

PHOTO TAKEN NOV. 6, 2014Evan Vucci/AP Joan Tarshis claimed she was sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby as a 19-year-old aspiring actress in 1969. 

Lemon revealed in a 2010 memoir titled Transparent that he had been the victim of a child molester.

“If my question to her struck anyone as insensitive, I am sorry as that is certainly and was not my intention,” he added.

Cosby allegedly lured Tarshis to his bungalow at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, drugged her and then forced her to perform oral sex on him.

Tarshis said “Mr. Jello” attacked her again days later at the Sherry Netherland hotel, after she accompanied him to a performance he gave at the Westbury Music Theater on Long Island.

Lemon ends the exchange by stating, “I had to ask.”

Prior to his apology, his inappropriate interview spawned a series of outrageous tweets:

@daakardior tweeted: “If Amelia Earhart didn’t want to die, she shouldn’t have flown that plane over water. #DonLemonReporting

@bohosolo tweeted: “I just have to ask, Solange — if you don’t want to be compared to Beyoncé, then why are you her sister? #DonLemonReporting

jmolinet@nydailynews.com Follow on Twitter @jmolinet

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Tags:
entertainment news ,
tv ,
cnn ,
don lemon ,
bill cosby ,
joan tarshis

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