A bartender has slapped CNN anchor Don Lemon with a lawsuit, accusing him of a “demeaning, unprovoked and offensive assault” that allegedly took place at Murf’s Backstreet Tavern in Sag Harbor in July 2018.
In the lawsuit, Dustin Hice said he encountered Lemon at the tavern and offered to buy him a vodka drink. Hice claims Lemon declined but approached him later and assaulted him.
“(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 (Hice’s) mustache and under (Hice’s) nose,” reads the lawsuit, obtained by Mediaite.
Hice claims Lemon then inquired about his sexual preferences, saying, “Do you like (vagina) or (penis)?” The lawsuit added, “While saying this, Mr. Lemon continued to shove his fingers into (Hice’s) face with aggression and hostility.”
Hice said he suffered “severe emotional stress and loss of future earnings and opportunities,” as a result of the assault. So he’s suing for unspecified damages.
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 and his lawyers reportedly contacted Lemon and asked for $1.5 million to make the lawsuit “go away,” but Lemon declined to make the payment, according to TheWrap.