A sexual assault case against renowned CNN anchor Don Lemon has been withdrawn by the complainant in Januray after it went to trial. The court documents, which named Don Lemon as the defendant and Dustin Hice as the plaintiff, read that the “action should be voluntarily dismissed with prejudice.” Dustin Hice released a statement via his lawyer Robert Barnes, telling, “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. As a result, I am dropping the case.”
Don Lemon’s lawyer Caroline Polisi too released a statement on 2nd May, writing, “This has been a long and difficult journey for Don. Out of respect for the judicial process and my advice, he has 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 had to deal with these sorts of attacks for quite some time….The Court’s ruling fully vindicates Mr Lemon and brings an end to this abusive lawsuit.” Don Lemon had strongly denied the serious accusations detailed in the lawsuit which was filed in August, 2019 and was connected to an alleged incident in July, 2018. The lawsuit stated that the Emmy-winning journalist physically and verbally attacked Dustin Hice while haing a night out in Long Island, New York.
Hice, a bartender, detailed in the lawsuit that he was at Murf’s Backstreet Tavern in Sag Harbor with friends when he recognised Don Lemon. The plaintiff added that he offered to buy the defendant a drink but Lemon refused and the two did not had any run-in until later when, as per Dustin, Don “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 moustache.”
However, in December it was uncovered that that the plaintiff gave contradictory testimony during a deposition and involved himself in “egregious conduct” such as removing text messages, deleting his posts on social media, deactivating his Twitter account etc. The evidence which Dustin deliberately destroyed were homophobic texts, snaps showing him bear Don’s house and posts in which he implied paying a witness if he won the case. And earlier a spokesperson from CNN said Dustin was angry with their network and tried to extort Don Lemon.