Almost three years after CNN anchor Don Lemon was accused of assaulting a man in a Sag Harbor, NY, bar in 2018, the incendiary lawsuit has ended in a whimper.
“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,” said Dustin Hice in a full on retreat from his allegations of the assault and subsequent emotional distress against the CNN anchor in court and on conservative media. “As a result, I am dropping the case,” the short statement sent out by attorney Robert Barnes for Hice concluded.
Memory can be a tricky thing as many a judge, cop and lawyer will tell you. Being told by a federal judge in March that you have to pay $77,000 in sanctions to the man you are accusing because you have destroyed or at least tampered with evidence and tried to bribe witnesses is probably hard to forget when considering if you want to continue your lawsuit. And yes, that is what U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Locke did to Hice to on March 23 for a pattern of court conduct violations.
In his pretty explicit filing of August 11 2019, Hice had originally alleged Lemon displayed a pattern of “aggression and hostility.”
With whispers of a $1.5 million shakedown floating around, CNN came out strong for their colleague. “The plaintiff in this lawsuit has previously displayed a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts,” a spokesperson for the then Jeff Zucker-run cable newser said at the time. “This claim follows his unsuccessful threats and demands for an exorbitant amount of money from Don Lemon,” the exec from the now Warner Bros Discovery-owned outlet back in 2019. “Don categorically denies these claims and this matter does not merit any further comment at this time.”
Flash forward to today in 2022 and, needless to say, after Lemon likely spending a small fortune to defend himself in court and having the amplified fervor of the MAGA morons outside court, the UTA-repped CNNer’s lawyer Caroline Polisi offered a more extensive take after Hice’s put his recollection statement out today:
Thankfully Mr. Hice was finally able to access his memory and recollect the correct version of events on the night when he approached Don Lemon.
This has been a long and difficult journey for Don. 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.
The Court’s ruling fully vindicates Mr. Lemon and brings an end to this abusive lawsuit. This case was a crass money grab from its inception. Mr. Lemon has never paid the plaintiff a dime over the course of this unfortunate spectacle, and he is looking forward to moving on with his life.
I hope that many in the media have learned their lesson on misreporting the facts and jumping to conclusions. The reporting on this story from many outlets has been a case study in unethical and uninformed reporting.
Now the matter won’t be heading to trial next month, but Hice still has to come up with that $77,000.
Lemon’s CNN show airs at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT weekdays. No word if he will address the matter on-air or not, but we’ll update if the host does.
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