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Watch Don Lemon Ask Bill Cosby’s Rape Accuser Why She Didn’t Prevent Her Assault

2 minute read

CNN’s Don Lemon is getting flak for his interview with Joan Tarshis, who earlier this week accused comedian Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting her in 1969.

Tarshis says when she was an aspiring teenage actress that Cosby drugged her and coerced her into performing oral sex. During his interview with her Tuesday night, Lemon asked why she didn’t use her teeth to prevent Cosby’s assault. Read the exchange below:

Lemon: Can I ask you this? And please, I don’t mean to be crude, OK?

Tarshis: Yeah.

Lemon: 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.”

Tarshis: Right.

Lemon: You said he made you perform oral sex.

Tarshis: Right.

Lemon: You — you know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it.

Tarshis: 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…I didn’t even think of it.

Lemon: Biting.

Tarshis: Ouch.

Lemon: Yes. I had to ask.

Shortly after the interview aired, the mocking hashtag #DonLemonReporting quickly became a trending topic on Twitter.

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Write to Eliana Dockterman at eliana.dockterman@time.com