Mediaite is reporting that it has obtained a lawsuit from a bartender in New York who claimed that CNN star Don Lemon sexually assaulted him in 2018. The accuser wants Lemon and CNN to pay for “emotional pain and suffering.”
Sources close to Lemon say the accuser has asked for $1.5 million.
According to the plaintiff, Dustin Hice, the sexual assault took place in Sag Harbor, New York, at a dive bar called Murf’s. Hice attempted to buy Lemon a drink, who declined and was “just trying to have a good time,” according to people close to his team.
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What might have been a good night quickly turned bad, according to the lawsuit.
The reported victim claims that things turn ugly later in the evening.
“Mr. Lemon, who was wearing a pair of shorts, sandals, and a t-shirt, put his hand down the front of his own shorts, and vigorously rubbed his genitalia, removed his hand and shoved his index and middle fingers in Plaintiff’s moustache and under Plaintiff’s nose,” the lawsuit claims.
“Do you like p**** or d***?” Lemon allegedly asked.
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Hice claimed he quickly left the bar, embarrassed by what had taken place.
The suit details that Hice was left feeling “shame, humiliation, anxiety, anger, and guilt,” and that he was the continual source of ridicule from locals.
Since the lawsuit became public, Hice has deleted his social media presence.
A spokesperson for CNN said that Lemon has denied the assault claims, and accused Hice of attempting to extort the CNN host for money in the past.
“This claim follows his unsuccessful threats and demands for an exorbitant amount of money from Don Lemon,” the statement read.
In the past, Lemon has spoken out about his history with sexual assault, claiming that he was a victim as a child.
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“So here’s my message then and now and today,” the CNN anchor said on his show a year ago. “People aren’t always who they present themselves to be in public. A molester doesn’t have an M on their forehead. Or an abuser doesn’t have an A on their forehead. A rapist doesn’t go around with an R on their forehead.”
“People are tricky characters. Innocent until proven guilty must remain the law of the land,” Lemon said. “But at the same time some guilty people do cloak themselves in innocence. Remember, after all, Bill Cosby was America’s dad not so long ago. Think about that.”
The Horn editorial team