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CNN's Don Lemon Sued for Alleged Harassment of Man at Hamptons Bar

Don Lemon

CNN claims the plaintiff had a beef with the network. 

A Hamptons bartender has filed suit against Don Lemon, alleging the CNN anchor sexually harassed him at a bar there last summer. The plaintiff, Dustin Hice, is suing for "emotional pain and suffering," according to court documents obtained by Mediaite.

The suit, filed Sunday, alleges that Hice recognized the anchor and approached Lemon, offering to buy him a drink called a lemon drop at the Sag Harbor bar Murf's Backstreet Tavern following a shift at his workplace, the Old Stone Tavern in Sagaponack, N.Y.

"I absolutely wasn't hitting on him whatsoever,'' Hice, 38, told the New York Post about his offer to buy Lemon, who is gay, a drink. "I'm a heterosexual male."

The suit claims that Lemon declined a drink but a few minutes later approached Hice and harassed him.

"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 alleges.

Lemon repeatedly shoved his hands in Hice's face, asking, "Do you like pussy or dick?" the suit says. New Jersey native Hice left the bar feeling "shocked and humiliated and having suffered "severe emotional stress and loss of future earnings and opportunities," according to the suit.

"I had to go into work the next day, and by then, people all across town knew it,'' Hice told the Post. "It spread like wildfire. And I had people coming in that week and ordering lemon drops and being like, 'Give me two.'"

It was "infuriating and humiliating," he said.

CNN rejected Hice's claims, alleging that he had a history of hating the network.

"The plaintiff in this lawsuit has previously displayed a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts," a CNN spokesperson said, according to Deadline. "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," the CNN spokesperson continued.

A retired Instagram account that appears to have belonged to Hice, reveals a post in which he used the hashtag #Trump and called CNN "the home of the fake news" while touring CNN headquarters in Atlanta.

"I have never ever ranted about anyone, especially a news station. ... I am a private, religious man," Hice told the Post.

An attorney for Hice responded to CNN's assertion that Hice had a beef with the network.

"The assertion that Mr. Hice would put himself through the painful process of filing a sexual assault lawsuit against his attacker all because he doesn't like a cable TV station is ludicrous," the attorney said, according to The Hill. "Rather, he took down his social media accounts on the day he filed the lawsuit against Don Lemon because he's a private citizen and wants to protect himself from CNN's heavy-handed tactics."

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Tracy E. Gilchrist