Don Lemon may have to go to court over an alleged sexual assault.
According to Fox News, the attorney for the man who claimed Lemon sexually assaulted him in 2018 expects the case to finally see a judge after delays attributed to the coronavirus pandemic. The legal team for Dustin Hice, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, informed Fox News Digital that the case was still ongoing and could head to a courtroom around January 2022.
Hice described the incident as “vile, disgusting, lewd and inhumane” to the outlet last year.
“I’m not doing this for notoriety or fame, I’m doing this because I’m standing up for myself and what I believe in,” he remarked. “I’ve grown a new respect for people dealing with mental health issues because stress, depression, anxiety, those are all very serious things. It consumed my life.”
VIBE previously reported in 2019, Hice filed the lawsuit in New York. In the suit, he claimed that in 2018, Lemon approached him and offered him “The Lemon Drop” a cocktail to which he refused. Later, he claimed the CNN reporter “put his hand down the front of his shorts, and vigorously rubbed his genitalia, removed his hand and shoved his index and middle in [Hice’s] mustache and under [Hice’s] nose.”
Lemon denied all allegations and issued the following statement through a CNN spokesperson:
“The plaintiff in this lawsuit has previously displayed a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts,” it reads. “This claim follows his unsuccessful threats and demands for an exorbitant amount of money from Don Lemon.”
A source claimed Hice demanded $1.5 million in exchange before filing the lawsuit. After Lemon refused to payout, the legal action continued. The official lawsuit states that Hice has continued to “suffer emotionally, mentally, and personally” due to the assault.
Correction: 4:25 p.m. ET (Oct. 15, 2021) – An earlier version of this article misstated that the “Lemon Drop” cocktail is named after the famed anchor. The drink Lemon allegedly offered was not made after him.