CNN journalist Don Lemon is still under fire after an interview with Joan Tarshis, one of Bill Cosby’s rape accusers, in which Lemon clumsily questioned whether the alleged victim did enough to prevent being raped and inquired why she did not “use her teeth” as a method to prevent Cosby from allegedly forcing her to perform oral sex.
Speaking to People Magazine Tarshis explained “I was kinda shocked and then a part of me thought, ‘Damn, why didn’t I think of that?’ I was just so surprised because at first because I didn’t know what he meant when he said, ‘There are other ways of dealing with this.’ … I became flustered.”
Lemon, who admits that he was sexually abused as a child, issued an apology on Wednesday stating, “As I am a victim myself I would never want to suggest that any victim could have prevented a rape. If my question to her struck anyone as insensitive, I am sorry as that is certainly and was not my intention.”
Read a portion of the original interview or watch below:
LEMON: Can I ask you this, because — and please, I don’t mean to be crude, OK?
LEMON: Because I know some of you — and you said this last night, that he — you lied to him and said “I have an infection, and if you rape me, or if you do — if you have intercourse with me, then you will probably get it and give it to your wife.”
LEMON: And you said he made you perform oral sex.
LEMON: You — you know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it.
TARSHIS: Oh. Um, I was kind of stoned at the time, and quite honestly, that didn’t even enter my mind. Now I wish it would have.
LEMON: Right. Meaning the using of the teeth, right?
TARSHIS: Yes, that’s what I’m thinking you’re —
LEMON: As a weapon.
TARSHIS: Yeah, I didn’t even think of it.
LEMON: Biting. So, um —
LEMON: Yes. I had to ask. I mean, it is, yeah.
TARSHIS: Yes. No, it didn’t cross my mind.