CNN's Lemon mistakes local reporter for ex-girlfriend during New Year's Eve telecast

CNN anchor Don Lemon mistook a New Orleans reporter for his ex-girlfriend during network coverage of New Year's Eve festivities on Monday night from New Orleans, before realizing he had the wrong woman

"I think I see a former college girlfriend in the crowd," Lemon said while broadcasting from The Spotted Cat in the French Quarter as the camera panned over to a woman he referred to as "Michelle."


"Oh my god! Mom, if you are watching at home, do you remember Michelle?" Lemon asked.

His co-host, Brooke Baldwin, asked if he was serious.

"Are you serious? And she's just randomly in the crowd at The Spotted Cat?" co-host Baldwin said.

It turned out that the woman was actually New Orleans CBS affiliate WWL-TV reporter Careese Jackman, who waved back, but later revealed on Twitter she didn't realize Lemon, a graduate of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, thought he was waving to his ex-girlfriend.  


Lemon revealed in his 2011 memoir, "Transparent," that he is gay. 

He and Baldwin have been paired for the past several years in New Orleans to ring in the New Year in the Central time zone.

“Everyone wants to see Don Lemon get lady lit!” Lemon said to Baldwin at one point of the New Year's Eve broadcast, referring to the number of drinks he was having.

At another point, upon learning the hashtag #DrunkDonLemon had been created, Lemon exclaimed, “Make it trend! Make it trend! Hashtag drunk Don Lemon!”

The 52-year-old Lemon has been with CNN since 2006.