Serene Branson, the Los Angeles television reporter whose on-air malfunction following last Sunday’s Grammys led to her becoming a worldwide object of internet ridicule, told her station, KCBS-TV, that doctors had determined that a “complex migraine” caused her 13 seconds of live incoherence.
In an interview on Thursday, Branson said that she “started to get a really bad headache” earlier in the evening.
“At around 10 o’clock that night I was sitting in the live truck with my field producer and the photographer and I was starting to look at some of my notes,” she said. “I started to think, the words on the page are blurry and I could notice that my thoughts were not forming the way they normally do.”
“As soon as I opened my mouth I knew something was wrong,” Branson said. “I was having trouble remembering the word for Grammy. I knew what I wanted to say but I didn’t have the words to say it.”
There were early reports that Branson had suffered some form of a stroke, but that was never confirmed by either Branson or her employers.
In the KCBS-TV interview, Branson proved to be a good sport about the incident and its aftermath. When shown the footage of her post-Grammy gibberish, she smiled as she watched, seemingly aware of the comedic value of the clip while making explicit to viewers the fear and confusion she experienced that night.
Branson said she had received medical clearance to return to work, and was anxious to get back to “telling the story, and not being the story.”