*Don Lemon has been hit with a sexual assault lawsuit that will be heard in court early next year after a prolonged legal process.
Dustin Hice filed the lawsuit against Lemon two years ago, accusing the openly gay CNN host of assault, as reported by Fox News. The incident occurred in the summer of 2018.
In the lawsuit, Hice said he met Lemon, 53, at Murf’s Backstreet Tavern, located in the Sag Harbor town of the Hamptons. Hice offered to buy the TV host a vodka drink called a “Lemon Drop” but Lemon declined. Later in the night, Lemon approached him and that’s when the assault took place.
“[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,” according to the lawsuit, filed Aug. 11, 2019 in Suffolk County Court.
“Lemon intensely pushed his fingers against Plaintiff’s face under Plaintiff’s nose, forcing Plaintiff’s head thrust backward as Defendant repeatedly asked Plaintiff ‘Do you like p—y or d–k?’ While saying this, Mr. Lemon continued to shove his fingers into Plaintiff’s face with aggression and hostility,” the suit alleged.
As a result of the attack, Hice said he suffered “severe emotional stress and loss of future earnings and opportunities.”
Hice also noted in the suit that Lemon is not a “staunch advocate for the ‘Me Too'” like he appears on television.
“When the cameras are turned off … Mr. Lemon’s actions are in stark and disturbing contrast to the public persona he attempts to convey,” the lawsuit reads.
Hice spoke about the incident last year to Fox News.
“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. “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.”
In an answer to the complaint, Lemon denied the accusations and called the suit “frivolous.”
A CNN spokesperson told USA TODAY 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 Tuesday. “This claim follows his unsuccessful threats and demands for an exorbitant amount of money from Don Lemon.”
Hice is suing Lemon for unspecified damages.