Don Lemon may be out at CNN, but he is hardly down. The controversial news anchor who was suddenly and unceremoniously fired from his 17-year sting with the mega news outlet, spoke with reporters at the TIME 100 Gala on Wednesday, April 26.
“I live my life with no regrets and whatever I did, I did, and I owned,” Lemon said. “I don’t look back and don’t want to change things in the past … Onward.”
Don Lemon is speaking out for the first time since his shocking departure from CNN after 17 years at the network.
The former news anchor announced that he had been fired from the network in April after being informed by his agent.
“I am stunned,” wrote Lemon. “After 17 years at CNN I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly. 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 continued, suggesting that “there are some larger issues at play.”
He went on to thank his colleagues and others he’s worked with at CNN over the years, calling them, “The most talented journalists in the business.”
The 57-year-old journalist recently took a trip to Memphis, Tennessee, for the annual “Freedom Fund” gala hosted by the NAACP. While there he spoke with news outlet ABC24 about his next move following his departure from CNN.
“I’m not gonna force anything,” Lemon said at the 3:30 mark of the interview. “I’m not gonna let other people’s timelines influence me,” he said. “I know people say, ‘I miss you on television. What is your next move?’ I’m figuring that out. I don’t have to be in a rush.”
“I think sometimes people rush to make decisions and they end up making the wrong decisions. They rush into a relationship, and they end up marrying the wrong person,” the author continued. ” They rush into a job, and end up in the wrong house, wrong car. I’m not rushing into anything.”
Lemon is making the best of the unexpected departure and said he is not lamenting his ousting from the network.
“I think life is short, and whatever life hands you, you have to bob and weave and do it,” he said. “I didn’t think I would be at work one evening and get a phone call that my sister had died, but I had to deal with that. I didn’t think that my dad would die young of diabetes … So there are lots of things that come your way that are unexpected, but I’m a survivor. I come from strong, sturdy stock in Louisiana and a lot of people are rooting for me and who love me.”
Lemon said that he intends to take a much-needed break from work and the controversial firing and spend some time off relaxing on his boat and soaking up sun on the beach, before making moves to return to broadcast or work at all.
“I’m fortunate enough to be in a position where I can do that,” he said. “I have time. I don’t have to rush to another job, even if I want another job.”