CNN host Don Lemon is being accused of sexual assault after a bizarre incident in a New York bar in which he allegedly shoved his hand down another patron's pants.
As Fox News reported, the anchor is accused in a civil suit filed earlier this week of assaulting a man at a bar in the Hamptons during the summer of 2018. The lawsuit claims that Dustin Hice of Florida was working at The Old Stove in Sagaponack when he left with the bar's owner and co-workers to socialize at another bar. There, the group allegedly encountered Lemon and Hice said he offered to buy the CNN anchor a drink. Lemon declined, the lawsuit claims.
Later, Lemon approached Hice and sexually assaulted the man, the lawsuit claims.
"[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," read the lawsuit, filed this week in New York.
Hice said that Lemon then made crude remarks about his sexual preference.
Don Lemon's employer is standing behind the anchor, releasing a statement claiming that Dustin Hice showed a long history of making disparaging remarks against CNN on social media and said the man had tried to demand money from Lemon. A source told Mediaite, which was the first media outlet to report on the lawsuit, that Hice demanded $1.5 million from the CNN host in exchange for not filing the lawsuit. The source said that Lemon refused, saying he had done nothing wrong.
But Hice's lawyer shot back and denied the allegations that the lawsuit was motivated by any kind of animosity toward the cable news network.
"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," Hice's attorney said in a statement to Mediaite. "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."