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Posted under: News

CNN Defends Don Lemon After Bartender Alleges The Anchor Sexually Assaulted Him

Lemon "categorically denies" the allegations.

A bartender is suing Don Lemon for allegedly sexually assaulting him when they met at a bar in The Hamptons.

Dustin Hice claims the incident happened after he recognized Lemon in a bar and attempted to buy him a drink. Lemon refused the drink and told Hice he was “just trying to have a good time.” Their interaction ended there until the CNN host approached Hice later in the evening.

The Mediate obtained a copy of the lawsuit that describes the bizarre scene.

“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 in Plaintiff’s mustache and under Plaintiff’s nose,” the court papers said.

According to Hice, the harassment didn’t stop there.

“And he goes, ‘Do you like p***y or d**k?’ And he kept saying, ‘P or D? P or D?’ He said it three or four times,” Hice told The New York Post. “I’m like, ‘Whoa man, what the hell?’”

Hice said he was in The Hamptons to enjoy the scenery and make some extra money. He asserts Lemon’s alleged behavior made it hard for him to make a living.

“I had to go into work the next day, and by then, people all across town knew it,’’ Hice said. “It spread like wildfire. And I had people coming in that week and ordering Lemon Drops and being like, ‘Give me two.’”

“Give me two,” is what Hice reportedly said when he tried to order Lemon a drink. Hice’s lawsuit also claims Lemon’s advocacy for the #MeToo movement is disingenuous.

The documents argue Lemon “purports to be a staunch advocate for the ‘Me Too’ movement, a social movement meant to bring awareness and give a voice to victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment. When the cameras are turned off, however, Mr. Lemon’s actions are in stark and disturbing contrast to the public persona he attempts to convey.”

Lemon denies any wrongdoing, and CNN has his back. A CNN spokesperson accused Hice of having a vendetta against the organization.

“The plaintiff in this lawsuit has previously displayed a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts,” the rep said in a statement. “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.”

Hice’s social media accounts have been deleted, however, a post reportedly acquired by Mediaite showed him posing in front of the CNN Center in Atlanta with a shady caption.

“Touring the #CNN center today…or as #Trump would say ‘the home of Fake News’ lol,” the caption read according to Mediaite.

Additionally, a source close to Lemon said Hice attempted to extort CNN by agreeing to forgo the lawsuit in exchange for $1.5 million.

Andrew Miltenberg, Hice’s attorney, balked at the accusations.

“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,” Miltenberg said in a statement. “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.”

Hice also denied the grudge.

“I have never ever ranted about anyone, especially a news station,” he told The New York Post. “I am a private, religious man.’’

Miltenberg doesn’t believe Hice’s privileges make him any less of a victim.

“Just because my client is a straight man doesn’t make this assault any more acceptable than if he were a woman,” Miltenberg said. “This lawsuit is sending a message loud and clear — if you are in a position of power, you cannot get away with sexual assault. No matter what the circumstances are.”

Hice is seeking damages for emotional distress and lost wages.

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Ashleigh is a writer and podcaster based in Atlanta, GA. She isa social justice senshi, not a SJW. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @ashleighlakieva.