Although CNN doesn’t seem to get enough of the #MeToo coverage, it seems that their anchors are the biggest hypocrites in the reporting. CNN host Chris Cuomo recently made the news after being accused of sexually harassing veteran TV journalist Shelley Ross when they worked together at ABC News. This came shortly after his brother Andrew Cuomo resigned as New York governor after a string of sexual harassment claims. And now, fellow CNN host Don Lemon has also been accused of inappropriate behavior.
Two years ago, a man named Dustin Hice accused CNN host Don Lemon of assault and battery at Long Island bar Murf’s Backstreet Tavern during the summer of 2018. This was in the prestigious Sag Harbor town of the Hamptons area east of New York City. According to the lawsuit, Lemon inappropriately touched him down the front of his own shorts and then shoved his index and middle finger into the Plaintiff’s mustache and under his nose.
“Lemon intensely pushed his fingers against Plaintiff’s face under Plaintiff’s nose, forcing Plaintiff’s head thrust backward as Defendant repeatedly asked Plaintiff ‘Do you like p—y or d–k?’ While saying this, Mr. Lemon continued to shove his fingers into Plaintiff’s face with aggression and hostility,” the lawsuit reads.
Hice, who is openly gay, shared how it was a “vile, disgusting, lewd, and inhumane” attack that would be treated much differently if he were a woman. He said he’s not doing it for notoriety or fame, but for standing up for himself and what he believes in. “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,” Hice shared on Fox News.
While Lemon has called the lawsuit “frivolous” and denied all wrongdoing, the suit will wind up in court around January of next year. The lawsuit had been filed in August. 11, 2019 in Suffolk County Court but had a lengthy discovery process along with the pandemic restrictions that were set in place last year.
Hice had been a bartender at the Old Stove Pub in July of 2018 and was out with his boss George Gounelas the night of the incident. Gounelas told Fox News he witnessed the entire incident and corroborated Hice’s claim, despite Lemon continuing to deny the allegations. He said they had gone out for drinks one night after work and were standing there when Hice said “Hey, that’s Don Lemon.”
Gounelas described Murf’s Backstreet Tavern as a place people go to drink after you’ve been out drinking, adding that they ended up at that late-night spot because they had just gotten off work in the restaurant business. He said that they approached Lemon to strike up a conversation and offer him a drink, but that the CNN host declined. Gounelas said that a few moments later, Lemon came up to them and appeared “pretty drunk” at the tavern. They said Lemon continued to harass Hice, asking if he was bothering him because he likes him.
“Don Lemon has now come around the corner and is standing face to face with us. There is a beam, a pole, in the place. Don’s standing up against the pole, face to face with Dustin, I turn around and I’m standing right there between the two of them. He’s saying, ‘So you like me? Is that why you’re bothering me?’” Gounelas said.
Gounelas went on to explain the assault incident that occurred after, in which he said he laughed at the time and mocked Hice as “gross.” He said he was making fun of the incident as a boss but that he now feels bad for laughing after seeing how disturbed Hice was.
Hice didn’t find the assault to be a laughing matter and was shocked by the entire encounter. The two said they weren’t sure if Lemon was being confrontational or just flirting, but that it had been “unusual” and “disgusting.” Gounelas said that Hice was a “little messed up” from the incident and that everybody in the Hamptons knew it happened.
Besides Cuomo’s allegations, CNN has also allowed legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin to return to work after getting caught masturbating on a Zoom call with his coworkers. There are always double standards when you’re a Democrat. But if you’re a Democrat and belong to the mainstream media, you’re untouchable.