Don Lemon “Categorically Denies” Claims In Assault Suit, CNN SaysDeadline — Dominic Patten
A day after Chris Cuomo went viral responding to Fredo taunts on the streets and attracted an attack from Donald Trump, another CNN host is poised for the online drubbing from the Commander-in-Chief due to a lawsuit from an apparent non-fan of the WarnerMedia-owned outlet.
In a multi-damages seeking complaint filed August 11, Don Lemon is accused of assaulting plaintiff Dustin Hice in a Sag Harbor, NY, bar last summer.
“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 into [Hice’s] moustache under [Hice’s] nose,” the filing for “emotional pain and suffering” claims. Lemon, who is openly gay, is then said to have asked a rather pointed question about Hice’s sexuality as the TV host “continued to shove his fingers” at the plaintiff “with aggression and hostility.”
While Lemon hasn’t commented directly, CNN made no qualms about calling BS on the whole thing, which of course is expected to get a reaction from Trump and already has right-wing bloggers in a lather.
“The plaintiff in this lawsuit has previously displayed a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts,” a spokesperson for the Jeff Zucker-run cable newser told Deadline. “This claim follows his unsuccessful threats and demands for an exorbitant amount of money from Don Lemon,” the outlet added. “Don categorically denies these claims and this matter does not merit any further comment at this time.”
Deadline has heard from sources close to Lemon that there was an attempt in the past two weeks to shake down Lemon for a $1.5 million payoff to stop a lawsuit being filed. Clearly no money was paid by the UTA-repped CNN host to Hice or his side, which is likely why this suit has come out now.
While any social media presence by a Hice, a local bartender, seems to have been scrubbed from the Internet, it does seem that on his now-retired Instagram account the plaintiff quoted “#Trump” in calling CNN “the home of the fake news” — while he was touring CNN HQ in Atlanta.
There is a possibility Lemon will address the allegations tonight on his 7 PM PT airing show. There of course is a real possibility that Trump will lash out at Lemon tonight too, as he has in the past and did today over the Cuomo incident. An incident that even Trump’s best TV pal Sean Hannity thought was extremely uncool and called the man who lipped off to Cuomo a “jackass.”