Dustin Hice, who has accused CNN host Don Lemon of sexually assaulting him at a bar in the Hamptons a few years ago, went on “The Megyn Kelly Show” this week to tell his story.
In his lawsuit against Lemon, Hice claimed that the CNN host had put his hand down his own pants, rubbed his private parts, and then shoved his fingers into Hice’s face.
“Anybody that acts like that in public without any fear of what it might do to somebody or the consequences it might have, that’s a pattern,” Hice told Kelly after she asked if the incident seemed like something Lemon had done before.
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Hice added. “He’s protected by the fact that he’s African American, gay man on television, and I’m just some nobody.”
While Lemon is gay and married, Hice says that he is heterosexual. Lemon has denied the claims that he has made against him.
“The plaintiff in this lawsuit has previously displayed a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts,” C CNN spokesperson told USA Today back in 2019. “This claim follows his unsuccessful threats and demands for an exorbitant amount of money from Don Lemon.”
At the time of the alleged assault, Hice was working as a seasonal bartender at The Old Stove Pub in Sagaponack, and he had joined some co-workers after work and ended up at Murf’s Backstreet Tavern. When Hice recognized Lemon, he called to the bartender for two Lemon Drop drinks in a play on the host’s last name, adding that he was “being cordial.”
“I didn’t mean anything derogatory towards it,” Hice said. “But as soon as he said, ‘I’m just trying to have a good time,’ I just walked away.”
Hice alleged that Lemon came up to him and confronted him a few minutes later, asking him, “do you like p—y or d–k” during the alleged incident before reportedly assaulting him.
Lemon’s lawyers have claimed that Hice was taunting Lemon and “repeatedly yelled” at him from across the bar, according to The New York Post. They responded to the lawsuit by saying that Lemon “is often subjected to racist and homophobic harassment” and denied any assault.
Though Hice claims that Lemon has offered him as much as $500,000 to drop the lawsuit, he has no plans to do so.
“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 told Kelly.
“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,” he continued. “This isn’t about me trying to get money…. At this point, I just want my life back. 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. But that would be a start – if he said he was sorry and admitted that he messed up.”
Check out Hice’s full comments on this in the video below.