CNN’s Don Lemon Tears Up While Discussing His Cousin’s Sexual Assault

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“Why is it so hard to talk about? Well, part of it is fear. And part of it is doubt. Will I be believed? Will I be blamed? Will I have evidence?”

 

 

Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, has the support of many Americans. Meanwhile some people, including the commander-in-chief, think that it is just a smear campaign against Kavanaugh.

Critics of Ford ask if the woman actually did get assaulted in 1982, why then did she not report it at that time and chose to speak out now.

In his show, CNN’s Don Lemon tried explaining how hard it is for sexual assault victims to share their horrific encounters with the help of personal examples. The host said that he was assaulted when he was just 8-years-old and it wasn’t until he turned 30 that he told his mother about what had happened.

“It’s tough to — even now it’s tough,” he said. “I did later write about it in my book and I’ve talked about it since. But it’s never easy.”

He then explained why victims are almost always hesitant of sharing their stories.

“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.”

The host also shared a story about his cousin and broke down while explaining her ordeal.

“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.'”

Lemon teared up while narrating his cousin’s story. She was assaulted by her boyfriend.

“And even though it happened then, there is still pain now,” he 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.”

The host urged everyone to hear both sides of the story in matters as serious as assault. He said he believed in the concept of innocent until proven guilty but didn’t believe in demoralizing an accuser. 

People thanked Lemon for his sensitive yet meaningful disclosure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Banner / Thumbnail : Mark Sagliocco, Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

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