A bartender who claims CNN anchor Don Lemon jammed his finger in his face after rubbing his own genitals has said the news network is ‘a predator protecting machine’.
Dustin Hice, 41, spoke out in the wake of Chris Cuomo’s termination from the news channel after a sexual misconduct allegation was leveled at him last week, in the wake of another scandal involving his ties to his alleged sex pest brother Andrew.
Hice filed a suit against Lemon, 55, in August 2019 alleging that the CNN star assaulted him at a Hamptons bar. Lemon denies the allegations.
‘They’re a network rife with predators and perverts,’ Hice told Fox News Digital.
Dustin Hice, 41, who is suing Don Lemon over sexual assault allegations has branded CNN a ‘predator protecting machine’
Hice is suing Lemon, pictued, who claims he was assaulted by the CNN anchor in July 2018
‘Lemon will have to testify under oath in the near future, but it’s good to see that there’s finally some accountability happening.’
So far, CNN is standing by Lemon, similar to how the network backed its former anchor Chris Cuomo until revelations from the New York Attorney General’s office forced them to take action.
‘This is who they are. They’re a predator-protecting machine, they slander and smear victims with impunity,’ Hice added.
‘They’ve tried to grind me down, they’ve attempted to intimidate witnesses in my case, they’ve released confidential information about me in attempt to doxx me. They are complicit. This is who they are,’ he added.
Hice says he wants some closure after the alleged assault in which he claims that he was with co-workers at Murf’s Backstreet Tavern in Sag Harbor in July 2018, when he recognized Lemon.
Dustin Hice claims that he was out with co-workers at Murf’s Backstreet Tavern (above) in Sag Harbor on or around July 15, 2018 when Lemon approached him and sexually assaulted him
Hice then made what he describes as a ‘cordial gesture’ and ‘tried to get Mr. Lemon’s attention and offered to buy Mr. Lemon a drink’.
Lemon responded to Hice’s offer by declining the drink and telling the young man he was ‘just trying to have a good time.’
Things then allegedly took a bizarre turn minutes later, according to Hice, who is asking for damages.
‘Sometime later that evening, unexpectedly, Mr. Lemon walked towards Hice and his colleagues inside of Murf’s,’ states the complaint.
‘At such time, 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 into Plaintiff’s mustache under Hice’s nose.’
It then goes on to allege: ‘Mr. Lemon intensely pushed his fingers against Plaintiff’s face under Plaintiff’s nose, forcing Plaintiff’s head to thrust backward as Lemon repeatedly asked Hice “Do you like p***y or d**k?”. While saying this, Mr. Lemon continued to shove his fingers into Hice’s face with aggression and hostility.’
Don Lemon (above with his husband at their Hamptons home days before the alleged incident) is being sued by Dustin Hice, a Floridian who claims he was assaulted by the CNN anchor
Lemon (above with his husband on right and friends the day of the incident) allegedly ‘removed his hand and shoved his index and middle fingers into Plaintiff’s mustache under Hice’s nose’
That is when Hice ‘fled the bar’ and took five to ten minutes to collect himself before he was able to return inside, having recovered from the incident which he claims left him ‘shocked and humiliated’.
Lemon was gone by that point, while Hice was left ’emotionally devastated by Mr. Lemon’s demeaning unprovoked and offensive assault’.
Hice, who has spoken about the alleged assault several times in the past also revealed that he was offered a $500,000 settlement by Lemon before negotiations broke down and a formal complaint was filed.
The case is expected to end up in court early next year after a prolonged legal process.
‘I’m not doing this for notoriety or fame, I’m doing this because I’m standing up for myself and what I believe in,’ Hice told Fox News.
Hice, who was working as a bartender at a different Hamptons bar at the time of the alleged assault, shut down his Twitter account just before filing his lawsuit. He is seen with his sister
‘I’ve grown a new respect for people dealing with mental health issues because stress, depression, anxiety, those are all very serious things. It consumed my life.’
A statement from a CNN spokesperson stated: ‘The plaintiff in this lawsuit has previously displayed a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts.
‘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.’
‘In response to Mr. Hice’s baseless allegations, I encourage people to review the public filings, which show that Mr. Hice’s claims have been steadily eroding when they have been exposed to the civil litigation process. Mr. Hice’s fanciful and salacious allegations against Mr. Lemon have collapsed of their own weight. Unlike Mr. Hice, Mr. Lemon has litigated, and will continue to litigate this case in the courtroom, not the press. We look forward to the approaching trial so he can finally put this case behind him,’ Lemon’s attorney, Caroline J. Polisi, told Fox News.
CNN also faces a fresh scandal after Empire star Jussie Smollett, left, claimed Don Lemon, right, had texted him details of a police investigation into a hate crime Smollett now stands accused of faking
CNN also faces a fresh scandal after Empire star Jussie Smollett claimed Don Lemon had texted him details of a police investigation into a hate crime Smollett now stands accused of faking.
Don Lemon allegedly texted the former TV star shortly after he claims he was attacked in Chicago in February 2019, to say that Chicago’s Police Department wasn’t taking his allegations seriously.
Smollett made the claim while giving evidence on Monday.
Testifying in court on Monday, Smollet, 39, claimed he had been in contact with Lemon during the early stages of the CPD investigation.
In a remark that was presented and then struck from the record, he said things began to seem off when he received a text message from Lemon claiming the Chicago police had reached out to him to say they didn’t believe Smollett.
There was no mention of Lemon’s alleged involvement during Monday night’s program which reported the court proceedings.
Lemon and CNN have yet to comment on the allegation.
Smollett took the stand at his trial on Monday. He faces six counts of felony disorderly conduct for making what prosecutors say was a false police report
Lemon’s alleged meddling in the aftermath of Smollett’s hate crime comes just days after the media giant fired Chris Cuomo over his involvement in defending his disgraced brother from sexual assault allegations.
Lemon and Cuomo were known to be close friends both on-air and off-screen with viewers treated to nightly banter and the program’s handed over to one another.
‘The blessing is that we’re actually friends. A lot of stuff in the media is phony. A lot of couples that you see on news shows, they are friendly for the purpose of the show, and that’s neither good nor bad. It is not the case with us,’ Cuomo said of Lemon earlier this year.
On Saturday evening, CNN issued a statement announcing it had fired Cuomo ‘effective immediately.’
He had previously been suspended pending a review of revelations from the New York attorney general’s office about his involvement as he strove to protect his brother over sexual assault allegations.
Lemon and Cuomo were known to be close friends both on-air and off-screen with viewers enjoying the nightly banter between them as the program’s handoff between one another
‘While in the process of that review, additional information has come to light. Despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate,’ CNN revealed.
‘Today I let Chris know that we are ending his employment at CNN. It goes without saying that these decisions are not easy, and there are a lot of complex factors involved. But, as always, it was important to me to be upfront with each of you,’ CNN president Jeff Zucker wrote
Chris Cuomo then released his own statement on his sacking. .
‘This is not how I want my time at CNN to end, but I have already told you why and how I helped my brother. So let me now say as disappointing as this is, I could not be more proud of the team at Cuomo Prime Time and the work we did as CNN’s #1 show in the most competitive time slot. I owe them all and will miss that group of special people who did really important work,’ Cuomo said.