CNN host Don Lemon has been sued by a New Jersey man accusing Lemon of assaulting him and making lewd remarks to him at a bar.
Dustin Hice, a bartender in the Hamptons who was off work, said in court documents obtained by Mediaite that Lemon approached him after Hice had previously offered to buy him a drink, and “vigorously rubbed his [Lemon’s] genitalia, removed his hand and shoved his index and middle fingers in Plaintiff’s moustache and under Plaintiff’s nose.”
Lemon then allegedly asked Hice, “Do you like p—- or dick?” before Hice left the bar.
A CNN spokesperson characterized Hice as a frequent critic of the cable network and indicated that he had demanded money from Lemon. An associate of Lemon’s told Mediaite that the sum demanded by Hice totaled $1.5 million.
“The plaintiff in this lawsuit has previously displayed a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts,” the CNN spokesperson told The Hill. “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.”
An attorney for Hice denounced supposedly “heavy-handed tactics” employed by CNN, and criticized the network for focusing on Hice’s criticism of CNN on social media.
“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. Rather, he took down his social media accounts on the day he filed the lawsuit against Don Lemon because he’s a private citizen and wants to protect himself from CNN’s heavy-handed tactics,” the attorney said.
CNN declined to comment further when contacted by The Hill.