Lawyer course

After Don Lemon’s Assault Lawsuit Suddenly Dropped, CNN Anchor’s Lawyer Responds

longtime CNN correspondent and host Don Lemon He found himself in the news rather than just pointing it out a few years ago when he was charged with assault over an alleged incident the year before. Now, nearly three years after the initial filing in 2019, the lawsuit has been dropped and Lemon’s attorney wasted no time in responding.

The legal situation began in August 2019, when Dustin Hice accused Don Lemon of assaulting him in 2018 at a bar in Sag Harbor, New York. The complaint alleged ’emotional pain and suffering’ due to ‘aggression and hostility’ at the time, according to Deadline in 2019, but CNN backed Lemon, with a spokesperson accusing Hice of displaying “a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts” with the filing coming after “his unsuccessful threats and demands for a exorbitant amount of money from Don Lemon.”

Rumors at the time suggested that Hice had tried to shake the CNN host for $1.5 million to prevent a lawsuit from being filed. Now, in May 2022, Dustin Hice has changed his story of the events at the Sag Harbor bar in 2018, saying in a statement from his attorney (via Deadline) that after “much inner reflection and a deep dive” into his memory, he came “to realize that my recollection of the events” were in fact “not what I thought they were when I ‘ve filed this lawsuit.”

In response, Don Lemon’s attorney Caroline Polisi released a statement commenting that Hice was “finally able to access his memory and recall the correct version of events the night he approached Don Lemon”. The statement continues:

It has been a long and difficult journey for Don. Out of respect for the legal process and my advice, he had to remain silent in the face of a malicious and vulgar attack on his personality. Unfortunately, being a gay black man in the media, he had to deal with these kinds of attacks for a while. The Court’s decision fully vindicates Mr. Lemon and puts an end to this abusive lawsuit. This case was a gross cash grab from its inception. Mr. Lemon never paid a penny to the plaintiff during this unfortunate spectacle, and he is eager to get on with his life.

Caroline Polisi’s mention of “the court ruling” refers to a federal judge who ruled in March that Dustin Hice was liable for paying $77,000 in penalties to Lemon due to the destruction and/or tampering of evidence and an attempt to bribe witnesses, demonstrating a pattern of court conduct violations. The lawsuit does not move forward to trial in June as planned, but Hice dropping the lawsuit does not release him from the $77,000. He will still have to pay the penalties.

Don Lemon – who recently participated the traditional dinner of White House correspondents (hosted by The daily showby Trevor Noah) with partner Tim Malone – has not responded to Dustin Hice dropping the lawsuit at the time of writing. He has been a CNN staple since 2006 and is part of the network’s weeknight lineup as host of Don Lemon tonight. He probably won’t leave The TV program soon, with this lawsuit now behind him. The lemon was roped in former CNN reporter Chris Cuomo’s arbitration filing following his dismissal.