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A former Hamptons bartender is suing Don Lemon — saying the CNN host got gross and assaulted him at a local watering hole.
Dustin Hice says in his Suffolk County Supreme Court suit, which was filed over the weekend, that he was slinging drinks in July 2018 for The Old Stove Pub in Sagaponack when he and his coworkers decided to go out for drinks after work.
They headed to Murf’s Backstreet Tavern in Sag Harbor, where Hice “noticed a familiar face and realized that Mr. Lemon was also at the bar, seemingly enjoying a drink with his friends,” the lawsuit says.
“Being cordial, Plaintiff tried to get Mr. Lemon’s attention and offered to buy Mr. Lemon a drink, a ‘Lemon Drop,’ a vodka cocktail,” the papers state.
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“Mr. Lemon denied Plaintiff’s offer and responded that he was ‘just trying to have a good time,’ ” the suit says.
Hice said the pair then went their separate ways at the bar again until later in the night, when Lemon came over to him and his friends.
“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 in Plaintiff’s moustache and under Plaintiff’s nose,” the suit says.
Hice said Lemon then repeatedly asked him, “Do you like p—y or d–k?” while continuing to shove his fingers in his face “with aggression and hostility.”
Calling Lemon “an Emmy Award winning news anchor … who among other things, purports to be a staunch advocate for the ‘Me Too’ movement,” Hice says in his suit, “When the cameras are turned off … Mr. Lemon’s actions are in stark and disturbing contrast to the public persona he attempts to portray.”
But Lemon was “displaying his true nature” during the incident, Hice says in his suit.
Hice said he was so traumatized that he fled the bar and came back a couple minutes later to find Lemon gone.
Word of the incident soon spread around town, with locals whispering about what happened, including some who “cheekily ordered lemon drops and laughed at Plaintiff’s expense” when he was “out about town,” leaving Hice humiliated and angry, the lawsuit says.
Hice says in his suit that he suffered “severe emotional stress and loss of future earnings and opportunities” and is suing for unspecified damages.
CNN responded in a statement: “The plaintiff in this lawsuit has previously displayed a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts. This claim follows his unsuccessful threats and demands for an exorbitant amount of money from Don Lemon.
“Don categorically denies these claims and this matter does not merit any further comment at this time.”
A source close to Lemon said Hice’s camp claimed that contacted Lemon’s lawyers and demanded $1.5 million in exchange for not filing the suit, the source said. Lemon refused the demand because he did nothing wrong, the source said.
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