Don Lemon has allegedly been throwing money towards his problems. The 55-year-old openly gay CNN host allegedly offered his sexual assault accuser $500,000 to settle his battery lawsuit, but Dustin Hice doesn't want the money.
Sitting down for SiriusXM’s The Megyn Kelly Show, Hice spoke out about the accusations against Lemon and claimed the popular television correspondent has tried to pay him off three times.
Hice sued Lemon in August 2019, accusing the news anchor of assault and battery at a Long Island bar in 2018. "[Lemon] 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 into Plaintiff's mustache and under Plaintiff's nose," the documents read.
Now, he says Lemon is trying to put an end to the lawsuit by offering up half a million dollars to make it go away. "Money is not what I’m after here. I just want to not live the rest of my life in regret, and to have a clear conscience, and to have closure from this situation,” Hice claimed on the show.
“He’s made three separate attempts almost at a half a million dollars to try and get me to be quiet, but my silence can’t be bought," he continued. "This isn’t about me trying to get money…. At this point, I just want my life back. I don’t see any kind of settlement happening without an admission of guilt or an apology, but I seriously doubt with his ego and pride that’s going to happen. But that would be a start – if he said he was sorry and admitted that he messed up.”
According to Hice, Lemon's employer CNN is “complicit in this."
"Their comments have influenced people to the fact where they’re calling me a liar, and there are many other websites that have taken their words and formulated their own narrative on who I am and what I’ve done and what I’m looking for – my intentions here," he told Meghan. "If they didn’t know the facts…They might not have known that he’s offered me almost half a million dollars in settlement offers multiple times. And they might not have known that, but who are they to speak up on behalf of what’s going on between Don Lemon and I? They inserted themselves into this, and quite frankly I think they’re complicit in this.”
Lemon has denied any wrongdoing, calling Hice's lawsuit "frivolous." The television host isn't CNN's only media personality in hot water.
Last week, veteran television producer Shelley Ross accused Chris Cuomo of sexually harassing her in 2005. While he was at ABC at the time, he now works for CNN and took a noticeable absence amid his brother Andrew Cuomo's disgraceful resignation as NYC mayor.
CNN's Jeffrey Toobin was put on a leave of absence in 2020 after he was caught masturbating on a Zoom call with colleagues. After 8 months off, he was welcomed back with open arms in June 2021.