Don Lemon's Shocking Wish List: $8M Salary With $5M Upfront Payment, Private Jets and More Irks Elon Musk

Lemon also sought authority over X's news content policies along with accommodations for himself and his fiance

Don Lemon, the former CNN anchor, found himself in a clash with Elon Musk's SpaceX platform, resulting in his abrupt departure. The rift stemmed from Lemon's extensive list of demands during contract negotiations, which ultimately proved too extravagant for Musk's liking.

Lemon's wish list, reviewed by The Post, included a range of requests bordering on the extravagant. These demands encompassed a variety of perks, from a complimentary Tesla Cybertruck to an eye-popping $5 million upfront payment, alongside an equity stake in the multibillion-dollar company. Additionally, Lemon sought authority over X's news content policies, alongside indulgences such as a private jet to Las Vegas, accommodations for himself and his fiancé, and expenses covered for luxuries like day drinking and massages.

Lemon and Musk

Despite Musk's willingness to participate in an interview with Lemon, sources disclosed that the SpaceX CEO was cognizant of the anchor's ambitious requests. While the partnership between Lemon and X was announced in January, there was no finalized agreement in place before Musk's interview with Lemon.

Jay Sures, vice chairman at United Talent Agency representing Lemon, dismissed the claims as "complete utter nonsense." Lemon's departure swiftly followed his interview with Musk, during which the tech mogul described him as "dull" and "underwhelming."

The interview, lasting one-and-a-half hours, explored various topics, ranging from Musk's political leanings to his past drug use and X's content moderation policies. Scheduled for release on YouTube in the upcoming week, the interview promises to be an intriguing watch for viewers.

Lemon attributed his exit from X to Musk's alleged failure to uphold a "free speech" pledge. Discussions between Lemon and X commenced following his departure from CNN last April, with negotiations intensifying over the summer. Lemon claimed that X threatened to terminate his contract if he failed to attend the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year, an assertion refuted by an X spokesperson as a "disingenuous lie."

Negotiations hit a standstill over Lemon's extensive demands, which included executive assistants and a marketing budget of up to $15 million. Despite efforts to salvage the partnership with the appointment of Linda Yaccarino as CEO of X, talks ultimately fell through.

A spokesperson for Lemon vehemently denied the accuracy of the reported demands, stating that none of the claims were true. The breakdown in negotiations between Lemon and SpaceX highlights the complexities involved in navigating high-stakes negotiations within the realm of media and technology.

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