LONG ISLAND, NY – CNN host Don Lemon allegedly attempted to settle a sexual assault case by offering his accuser nearly $500,000 on three separate occasions, who claimed in a recent interview that he turned the large sums of money down because they didn’t come with an “admission of guilt or an apology.”
Lemon, 55 – who is openly gay and married – is alleged by accuser Dustin Hice that the famed television journalist approached him at Murf’s Backstreet Tavern in Sag Harbor, Long Island, in July 2018.
At that time, according to court documents from a lawsuit Hice filed in August 2019,
“[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.”
“Do you like (vagina) or (penis)?” the lawsuit added, “While saying this, Mr. Lemon continued to shove his fingers into (Hice’s) face with aggression and hostility.”
Hice said he suffered “severe emotional stress and loss of future earnings and opportunities.” He’s suing Lemon for unspecified damages.
Hice was recently interviewed by Megyn Kelly on SiriusXM radio, where he alleged that Lemon attempted to settle his case out-of-court with him three times – each time for nearly $500,000 – but that he turned the money down.
“Money is not what I’m after here. 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 situation,” Hice said. “He’s made three separate attempts almost at a half a million dollars to try and get me to be quiet, but my silence can’t be bought. This isn’t about me trying to get money…. at this point, I just want my life back.”Accuser, Dustin Hice [Listen to this Statement]
Hice said that he wouldn’t be open to any kind of settlement without Lemon taking responsibility for his alleged acts as well.
“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,” he said. “But that would be a start…if he said he was sorry and admitted that he messed up.”Accuser, Dustin Hice [Listen to this Statement]
Hice is also alleging that CNN, where Lemon is employed, is “complicit” due to having made comments about the case that “have influenced people to the fact where they’re calling me a liar.”
Lemon has denied having done anything wrong, and claims that Hice’s lawsuit is “frivolous.” In addition, a CNN spokesperson stated that “Don categorically denies these claims.”
“The plaintiff in this lawsuit has previously displayed a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts,” the statement said. “This claim follows his unsuccessful threats and demands for an exorbitant amount of money from Don Lemon.”