Since the rise of the #MeToo movement, many celebrities have found themselves facing sexual assault claims stemming from either past transgressions or recent allegations. Although we’ve grown accustomed to seeing women make these reports against men, there also have been more than a few examples of men claiming to be assaulted by other men as well.
CNN correspondent Don Lemon has been dealing with an accusation of his own for over 3 years now, aimed by a male who says the openly gay broadcast journalist assaulted him at a Sag Harbor bar back in 2018. However, it’s looking like Don may be off the hook now that his accuser is choosing to recant due to a sudden case of memory loss.
Accuser Dustin Hice released a short statement on Monday via his attorney Robert Barnes, which reads, “After a lot of inner reflection and a deep dive into my memory, I have come to realize that my recollection of the events that occurred on the night in question when I first met CNN anchor Don Lemon were not what I thought they were when I filed this lawsuit.” The note concluded rather simply, closing out by stating, “As a result, I am dropping the case.”
The retraction comes with little surprise for those familiar with the case, as Hice was ordered to pay Lemon $77,000 in attorney fees for “destroying or at least tampering with evidence and trying to bribe witnesses,” as Deadline reports. US Magistrate Judge Thomas Locke made the ruling on March 23, and it appears that Hice took the past month or so to weigh his chances of actually winning his case and apparently opted to not let his lies push forward any further.
More on what this means for Lemon below, via NY Post:
“Lemon’s attorney Caroline Polisi released a statement after Hice retracted his allegations saying the case was ‘a crass money grab from its inception.’
‘This has been a long and difficult journey for Don,’ the statement said. ‘Out of respect for the judicial process and my advice, he has had to remain silent in the face of a malicious and vulgar attack on his character.’
‘Unfortunately, being a gay black man in the media, he has had to deal with these sorts of attacks for quite some time,’ Polisi added.”
We can’t even begin to think of what Don Lemon has been subject to in terms of public scrutiny throughout this whole ordeal. Let’s lift him up in spirit and hope that he can move on knowing that justice leaned in his favor.
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