Nov 9, 2021, 9:57:35 AM11/9/21
Dustin Hice, a New York bartender who accused CNN’s Don Lemon of sexual
assault over a 2018 incident, said the network anchor tried to settle the
case three times.
“Money is not what I’m after here,” Hice said on “The Megyn Kelly Show” in an
interview published Monday. “I just want to not live the rest of my life in
regret, and to have a clear conscience, and to have closure from this
Hice said Lemon made “three separate attempts” with nearly “half a million
dollars” to keep him quiet over allegations that the prime time anchor groped
his own genitals and proceeded to shove the foul fingers in Hice’s face at a
Long Island bar. Hice filed a lawsuit two years ago with a trial expected to
begin early next year.
“[Lemon] 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 into
Plaintiff’s mustache and under Plaintiff’s nose,” the 2019 lawsuit reads,
according to Fox News. “Lemon intensely pushed his fingers against
Plaintiff’s face under Plaintiff’s nose, forcing Plaintiff’s head thrust
backward as Defendant repeatedly asked Plaintiff ‘Do you like p***y or d**k?’
while saying this, Mr. Lemon continued to shove his fingers into Plaintiff’s
face with aggression and hostility.”
In Monday’s interview with former Fox News host Megyn Kelly, Hice said the
experience, which happened within his first few weeks at the Long Island
establishment, provoked a summer of relentless taunting that eventually led
him to leave. Customers would enter to order lemon drops with two fingers
raised, referring to a joke Hice had made to Lemon before the CNN host
approached Hice later in the evening.
“I was sick and tired of being the ‘Lemon Drop guy,’” Hice said.
“At this point, I just want my life back,” Hice added. “I don’t see any kind
of settlement happening without an admission of guilt or an apology, but I
seriously doubt with his ego and pride that’s going to happen.”
Lemon called the allegations leveled by Hice in court “frivolous” and denied
CNN did not immediately respond to The Federalist’s inquiries.
Federalist Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky called CNN’s decision to stand by
its anchor “grossly inappropriate” later in Kelly’s program.
“It does show that if you’re Don Lemon, you actually don’t just have Don
Lemon and the super expensive powerful attorneys Don Lemon can hire,”
Jashinsky told Kelly. “You have all of your friends in the media who you can
give a call and say, ‘Listen, this thing’s not true.’ You can try to rush
them out of publishing it. And you have your own major corporate entity that
is going to go to bat for you because you would cost them money if you went
somewhere or if something happened to your brand because it’s their brand.”
The Lemon allegations, Kelly added, underscore a pattern at the network after
television producer Shelley Ross recently accused CNN’s Chris Cuomo of sexual
harassment while the two worked at ABC News in 2018.
CNN also brought back Jeffrey Toobin this summer after the network’s top
legal analyst was caught masturbating during an October Zoom call.
Let's go Brandon!