CNN said that a New York bartender who filed a lawsuit accusing anchor Don Lemon of sexual assault was motivated by “contempt” for the network.
“The plaintiff in this lawsuit has previously displayed a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts,” a spokesperson for the network told Mediaite. “This claim follows his unsuccessful threats and demands for an exorbitant amount of money from Don Lemon. Don categorically denies these claims and this matter does not merit any further comment at this time.”
Over the weekend, Long Island bartender Dustin Hice filed a lawsuit against Lemon. Hice claims that in July 2018, he recognized the CNN anchor and offered to buy him a drink called the Lemon Drop. Hice said Lemon declined and told him he was “just trying to have a good time.”
The lawsuit claims that Lemon later approached Hice and his friends and “put his hand down the front of his own shorts” and “vigorously rubbed his genitalia.” Hice claimed Lemon then put his fingers under Hice’s nose and “repeatedly asked” Hice, ‘Do you like pussy or dick?’”
Hice, a bartender at another bar, claimed that Lemon acted with “aggression and hostility.” Hice said he was “shocked and humiliated” and fled the bar.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for “emotional pain and suffering.”
Hice demanded $1.5 million from Lemon to kill lawsuit:
Hice demanded $1.5 million from Lemon in exchange for dropping the lawsuit, a source close to Lemon told Mediaite.
Lemon refused the offer because he does not believe he did anything wrong, the source said.
Hice scrubbed social media history:
“As for CNN’s claims about Hice posting anti-CNN things on his Instagram — he reportedly posted a photo after touring the CNN building in Atlanta and said that he was visiting ‘as #Trump would say 'the home of Fake News’’ — the attorney said Hice ‘took down his social media accounts on the day he filed the lawsuit’ because ‘he's a private citizen and wants to protect himself from CNN's heavy-handed tactics,’” Yahoo News reported.
"The assertion that Mr. Hice would put himself through the painful process of filing a sexual assault lawsuit against his attacker all because he doesn't like a cable TV station is ludicrous,” Hice’s attorney told Mediaite.