Don Lemon Has ‘No Regrets’ After CNN Exit: ‘I Don’t Look Back’

Don Lemon at arrivals for Turner Upfront 2016 Red Carpet Arrivals, Nick & Stef''s Steakhouse, New York, NY May 18, 2016. Photo By: Jason Smith/Everett Collection — Photo by everett225/Deposit Photos

Don Lemon is looking toward the future and putting CNN in the past.

Lemon walked the red carpet Wednesday, April 26, in New York City at the Time 100 Gala.

The outing came two days after he was fired from CNN. Although a smiling Lemon told Extra he’s not looking back.

“Life goes on. That’s behind me and we’ll see what happens in the future,” he said. “I live my life with no regrets and whatever I did, I did, I owned.”

Related StoryDon Lemon Fired by CNN After 17 Years at Network

The longtime newscaster was coy about a return to TV, only saying he’s working on his vacation plans.

“I’m gonna spend my summer on the beach and on the boat, and with my family. Just chill out and then I’ll see what happens next, but I’m fortunate enough to be in a position where I can do that,” he said.

CNN parted ways with Lemon on April 24, after he spent 17 years with the network.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Lemon said he was “stunned” by his firing.

“At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network,” he wrote. “It is clear that there are some larger issues at play.”

Don Lemon co-hosts CNN This Morning (Credit: CNN)
Lemon most recently co-hosted CNN This Morning. (Credit: CNN)

Last year, CNN canceled his primetime show, Don Lemon Tonight, and moved him to mornings. The changes were part of new CNN Chairman and CEO Chris Licht’s vision for the network.

In February of this year, Lemon sparked outrage for saying former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was past “her prime.”

Despite sometimes courting controversy, he was one of the biggest stars on CNN.

According to a Tuesday report in the New York Times, Lemon has lawyered up and is preparing to battle the network in court.

The article said Lemon and Tucker Carlson, who was fired by Fox News on the same say, have both retained powerhouse attorney Bryan Freedman.

The Los Angeles-based lawyer has a history of getting multimillion-dollar settlements for TV stars. His high-profile clients have included The Bachelor host Chris Harrison, Gabrielle Union, and Megyn Kelly, who were all ousted from TV jobs.

After getting pushed out by NBC in 2019, the network paid out Kelly’s full contract. The Megyn Kelly Today anchor exited with a reported $30 million.

In 2020, Union filed a discrimination complaint against NBC and America’s Got Talent producers after she was ousted from her job as a judge on the show. Months later, the parties reached what they described as an “amicable resolution.”

While Freedman works with Lemon, the longtime TV news anchor said on the red carpet he’ll wait for the right opportunity before taking another job.

“I have time,” he said. “I don’t have to rush to another job, even if I want another job.”

Lemon also noted that he’s a “survivor.”

“There are lots of things that come your way that are unexpected, but I’m a survivor,” he said. “I come from strong, sturdy stock in Louisiana and a lot of people are rooting for me and who love me.”