A former bartender at the Old Stove Pub in Sagaponack filed a lawsuit this week in Suffolk County Supreme Court alleging that CNN anchorman Don Lemon sexually assaulted him at Murf’s Backstreet Tavern in Sag Harbor in July 2018.
According to the suit, Mr. Lemon — who has a home in Sag Harbor — physically and verbally attacked Dustin Hice of Florida, who had been working at the popular Old Stove Pub restaurant.
Mr. Hice is seeking unspecified damages for assault and battery.
On July 15, a group of Old Stove Pub employees headed over to Murf’s Backstreet Tavern after work, according to the suit.
Mr. Hice noticed Mr. Lemon as a familiar face at the bar, enjoying a drink with his friends, according to the court documents. Soon after, Mr. Hice offered to buy Mr. Lemon a “Lemon Drop,” which is a vodka cocktail.
Mr. Lemon, 53, denied Mr. Hice’s offer, the documents state.
Mr. Lemon returned to his friends and both groups went about their night, and there was no further interaction until later in the night, the statement claims.
Mr. Lemon, at the time, wearing a pair of shorts, sandals and a T-shirt, allegedly walked toward Mr. Hice and his friends.
Mr. Hice stated that Mr. 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 Mr. Hice’s mustache under Mr. Hice’s nose.
The complaint continues that Mr. Lemon “intensely pushed his fingers” against Mr. Hice’s face, under his nose, forcing his head to thrust backward, as Mr. Lemon repeatedly asked profane questions relating to Mr. Hice’s sexual orientation.
Mr. Hice added that Mr. Lemon continued to shove his fingers into his face with “aggression and hostility.”
Following the incident, Mr. Hice explained that he was “shocked and humiliated” and fled the bar, as the manager of Old Stove Pub followed Mr. Hice to console him for about 5 to 10 minutes.
When the men returned to Murf’s, Mr. Lemon had left the premises, the paperwork states.
According to a spokesperson for CNN, Mr. Lemon denies the claims.
“The plaintiff in this lawsuit has previously displayed a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts,”the spokesperson said on Thursday. “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.”