On Monday, TMZ reported that CNN was being sued over some bad behavior on the part of its Beirut-based senior international correspondent Arwa Damon. According to papers filed in a Manhattan court, Damon got "seriously intoxicated" during a July visit to the United States Embassy in Baghdad. When Tracy Lamar and Charles Simons, a pair of EMTs stationed at the embassy, arrived and tried to help her, she allegedly became "abusive" and bit both of them on their forearms. Simons also said that his knees and arms were injured, while Lamar suffered some bruising. Now they want Damon and the network to pony up $2 million.
As of late Monday afternoon, a CNN claimed to be "not aware of the alleged lawsuit," though a New York Post source said that the State Department "prepared a report on the incident" after it occurred and forwarded it to the network. Meanwhile, Damon sent the embassy staff an apology letter that might look familiar to anyone who has ever had an especially rough night. From the Post:
“It’s been an extremely stressful time, I was exhausted, I had not had proper food all day and clearly miscalculated how my body would handle the alcohol consumed … Needless to say, I am utterly mortified and take full responsibility for my actions, which are inexcusable.”
She added, “I am being filled in on the details of my behavior. I am beyond embarrassed. My actions and words were entirely out of my character, and I hope that everyone can at some point forgive me.”
“So once again, I am apologizing and extending my thanks to all that were involved in ensuring that I am, thankfully, in the end, taken care of and physically at least OK. Everyone was extremely professional and courteous in the face of my unjustified behavior,” she continued.
Morning. I'm a big fan of CNN's Arwa Damon, bold, courageous and true. Cut her some slack. Covering Baghdad etc could drive anyone to drink.— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) August 5, 2014
These things happen.