The sexual assault case filed against CNN anchor Don Lemon will have a jury trial. Lemon was accused of assaulting Dustin Hice in 2018 in Sag Harbor, New York.
Hice, who is heterosexual, claimed that Lemon, who is homosexual and married, was visiting Murf’s Backstreet Tavern when he put his hand down his pants to touch his genitals before putting his fingers in Hice’s mustache. He filed a sexual assault lawsuit in 2019.
A federal judge reportedly ordered a jury trial, despite Lemon requesting a bench trial. A bench trial would have had a judge hearing arguments from both sides before ruling.
Hice reportedly told former Faux News anchor Megyn Kelly that Lemon was powerful because he was gay, Black and on television while he was nobody.
“He’s protected by the fact that he’s African American, gay man on television and I’m just some nobody,” said Hice. “Anybody that acts like that in public without any fear of what it might do to somebody or the consequences it might have, that’s a pattern.”
Hice admitted that he tried to buy Lemon a drink as the anchor socialized with friends, to which Lemon declined. Lemon denied the claims and accused Hice of extortion. Hice reportedly asked Lemon’s attorneys for $1.5 million for staying mum.
“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.”
Lemon’s attorneys also accuse Hice of being a Trump supporter who has shown contempt for CNN on social media. Hice also posed for a picture in front of Lemon’s home, holding a lemon in front of his crotch. The CNN anchor’s attorneys also noted Lemon is frequently the victim of homophobic and racist harassment.