‘I Was Told No’: Legal Analyst Laura Coates Claims She was Snubbed After Being Handpicked By Alex Trebek to Host ‘Jeopardy!’

Several high-profile names have been thrown in the ringer as a potential replacement following the passing of longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek. The gameshow host reportedly had his own list before his death, including CNN legal analyst Laura Coates. However, the attorney recently claimed that she was turned away when she inquired about the opportunity.

During her Monday, Jan. 17, appearance on “The Tamron Hall Show,” Coates said when she asked to be put on a list to be considered for the gig, she was told “no.”

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – MAY 21: Laura Coates at the 44th Annual Gracies Awards, hosted by The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation on May 21, 2019 at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

“I asked for the opportunity when it came time when they were looking for people to possibly fill in. I certainly raised my hand and knocked on doors and found them closed,” she said. “I was told ‘no,’ which is one of those moments, Tamron, when you have to remember to wear your own jersey.”

However, the denial didn’t keep Coates discouraged for too long. She later told Hall, “You have to remember to continue to be your own champion in other respects and sometimes the vision that you have for yourself — or those that surprise you, other people — don’t align with what happens, and that happened there.” Coates said, instead, she’s choosing to reflect on how fond Trebek was of her before his death at 80 from pancreatic cancer.

“I actually was as shocked as anyone else was when he first said it,” she shared. “I was thrilled when he said my name and I thought, ‘Oh, my God, this person that I have watched my whole life, really, even knows my name — let alone thinks that I would be worthy enough to fill his shoes, which frankly can’t be filled.”

During a 2018 interview with TMZ host Harvey Levin, Trebek spoke highly of Coates when discussing whom he would like to see take the podium following his retirement. Trebek told Levin, “There is an attorney, Laura Coates. She’s African American, and she appears on some of the cable news shows from time to time.”

At the time, Coates felt privileged by the recognition, later taking to her Twitter account where she wrote, “Incredibly honored & humbled  @Jeopardy Alex Trebek 1) knows who I am 2) thinks I’d be a great host of my fave game show ever that I grew up watching w/ my family & still watch w/ my own kids (who saw him say this & now think I’m a genius).”

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