The man who accused CNN host Don Lemon of a sexually charged assault says his pending lawsuit isn’t about money, and he can prove he isn’t financially motivated because he’s turned down multiple settlement offers.
It’s been over two years since Dustin Hice filed a bombshell lawsuit against Lemon – who is openly gay – accusing the CNN host of assault and battery at a bar on New York’s Long Island during the summer of 2018. The case is expected to end up in court early next year after a prolonged legal process and Hice still insists he isn’t simply looking for a payday, echoing comments he made last year – although Lemon’s attorney doesn’t agree.
“If this was about money, I would [have] taken any of the three separate settlement attempts he’s offered me,” Hice told Fox News Digital on Tuesday.
Lemon’s attorney Caroline Polisi told Fox News Digital that Lemon simply offered “to settle Mr. Hice’s claims for a nuisance value of $8,000.”
CNN did not respond to a request for comment.
Hice maintains he is looking for closure and peace of mind after what he says is a horrific encounter that included the CNN star allegedly putting his hand down the front of his shorts, “vigorously” rubbing his genitalia, and shoving the same hand into Hice’s mustache area while asking a vulgar question.
“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 lawsuit filed Aug. 11, 2019 in Suffolk County Court alleged.
“This horrible ordeal has taken a huge toll on not only me, but my loved ones as well,” Hice said. “I’m just ready to get this behind me but our day in court is coming soon enough.”
Hice first discussed turning down three settlement offers Monday on SiriusXM’s “The Megyn Kelly Show.”
In an answer to the complaint, Lemon denied all wrongdoing and called the suit “frivolous.”
Last year, Hice told Fox News Digital Lemon offered a settlement before talks broke down and the formal complaint was filed.
“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 Digital last year. “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.”
Hice also previously told Fox News Digital the alleged “vile, disgusting, lewd and inhumane” attack by Lemon would be treated much differently if Hice were a woman.
The alleged incident occurred at Murf’s Backstreet Tavern, in the prestigious Sag Harbor town of the Hamptons area east of New York City in July 2018. Lemon’s attorney told Fox News Digital that “Hice has no eyewitness to the conduct he falsely accuses Mr. Lemon of having engaged in” and “does not plan to call any expert witness to support his grandiose claims for emotional distress.”