A man who accused CNN’s Dom Lemon of assaulting him in a Hamptons bar three years ago claimed that the alleged behavior could be part of a “pattern.”
Accuser Dustin Hice made the comments on Monday’s “The Megyn Kelly Show” even as Lemon’s attorneys have fought back against Hice’s lawsuit in court filings, accusing the ex-bartender of withholding texts, deleting social media posts and hiding a witness that contradicted his claims.
Hice claimed in his suit that Lemon had put his hand down his own pants, rubbed his private parts and then shoved his fingers into Hice’s face.
“Anybody that acts like that in public without any fear of what it might it do to somebody or the consequences it might have, that’s a pattern,” Hice told host Megyn Kelly after she asked if it seemed that was something he had done before.
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Hice added. “He’s protected by the fact that he’s African American, gay man on television and I’m just some nobody.”
Lemon is gay and married, while Hice said in the interview he is heterosexual.
Neither CNN nor Lemon’s attorney returned a request for comment from The Post on Monday, but a network spokesperson has previously painted Hice as a CNN hater looking for a payday.
“The plaintiff in this lawsuit has previously displayed a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts,” the spokesperson told USA Today in a statement in 2019. “This claim follows his unsuccessful threats and demands for an exorbitant amount of money from Don Lemon.”
Attorneys for Lemon have outlined a lengthy discovery process in court filings that saw Hice allegedly admit to deleting numerous social media posts. Lemon’s legal team also said Hice indicated in texts to the key witness in the case that there could be a financial reward for testimony corroborating his story.
But that witness, a friend who was at the bar with Hice, apparently said in a deposition that he wasn’t sure Lemon actually had any physical contact with Hice. Text messages uncovered from a third witness during discovery showed Hice posing with a lemon in front of his crotch in front of Lemon’s home. A second photo in a recent court filing shows Hice and the key witness rolling on Lemon’s driveway.Murf’s Backstreet TavernBut that witness, a friend who was at the bar with Hice, apparently said in a deposition that he wasn’t sure Lemon actually had any physical contact with Hice. Text messages uncovered from a third witness during discovery showed Hice posing with a lemon in front of his crotch in front of Lemon’s home. A second photo in a recent court filing shows Hice and the key witness rolling on Lemon’s driveway.
That witness, who didn’t back up Hice’s version of events, was not put forth as a potential witness by Hice’s attorneys, Lemon’s court filings said.
Hice, who was a seasonal bartender at The Old Stove Pub in Sagaponack, joined some coworkers after work and ended up at Murf’s Backstreet Tavern.
Hice said he recognized the CNN anchor and called to the bartender for two Lemon Drop drinks in a play on the host’s last name. Hice claimed he was “being cordial.”
“I didn’t mean anything derogatory towards it,” he told Kelly. “But as soon as he said ‘I’m just trying to have a good time,’ I just walked away.”
Lemon’s attorneys said in a court filing that Hice taunted Lemon and “repeatedly yelled” across the bar but that the host declined.
Hice claimed that Lemon came up to him several minutes later and confronted him, then launched his vulgar attack. The ex-bartender also claimed Lemon asked several times, “Do you like p—y or d–k” during the alleged incident.
Lemon’s attorneys said in its response to the lawsuit that the CNN host “is often subjected to racist and homophobic harassment” and denied any assault.