Dustin Hice, who accused CNN anchor Don Lemon of sexual assault and filed a battery lawsuit against him, claimed the TV personality tried to pay him off with $500,000 for his silence.
During an interview with SiriusXM’s The Megyn Kelly Show, Hice spoke about his accusations against Lemon and claimed the anchor tried to buy his silence about the matter three times.
Radar Online reported that Hice sued Lemon of assault and battery in August 2019, after an interaction at a Long Island bar the previous year.
“[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 court documents read.
However, Hice said that Lemon tried to settle the lawsuit silently and offered him money instead.
“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.”
Hice also claims that Lemon’s employer CNN is standing behind the anchor.
“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,” Hice said.
“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 reportedly denied all accusations and said Hice’s lawsuit is “frivolous.”
A CNN spokesperson connected to the anchor told USA TODAY that “Don categorically denies these claims.”
“The plaintiff in this lawsuit has previously displayed a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts,” a 2019 statement read.” This claim follows his unsuccessful threats and demands for an exorbitant amount of money from Don Lemon.”