This CNN anchor made lemonade.
Newscaster Don Lemon surprised organizers at the Blue Jacket Fashion Show by taking part in the charity event the week after his sister’s tragic death.
“His team said ‘he’s in, he still wants to support it,’” said one insider who was in touch with Lemon’s assistants over the weekend.
Coordinators at the Johnson & Johnson event, which raises prostate cancer awareness, figured it was a foregone conclusion that Lemon would be a no-show. His sister L’Tanya “Leisa” Lemon Grimes drowned in a fishing accident in Livingston Parish, Louisiana, on Jan. 31. Lemon took a brief leave of absence from CNN and returned to the air on Tuesday. He was on the catwalk Wednesday.
“We were all for selfish reasons disappointed he was going to miss it,” said our insider. “He showed up, had a smile on his face and was kind to everyone.”
The audience showed their support for Lemon with a standing ovation when he hit the runway. He was one of the last models to come out and was dressed by the Theory fashion house.
“You would have never known he just suffered such a significant loss, he showed up with a smile on his face focused on the task at hand — raising awareness for prostate cancer,” we’re told. “He walked in the show and he was great.”
A source behind the scene says Lemon was also helpful in the make-up chair, where he took the hairbrush and dryer from a busy stylist and touched up his own ‘do.
Judy Gold served as the event’s emcee, while TV physician Dr. Mehmet Oz, educator Bill Nye, funnyman Mario Cantone and actor Billy Porter also walked the runway. Designers including Michael Kors, Joseph Abboud, John Varvatos and Thom Browne provided the duds.
With Brian Niemietz