Assault case against CNN's Lemon gets jury trial, accusation related to 2018 Hampton bar incident

Suit against Lemon was filed in 2019

Updated: February 8, 2022 - 12:10pm

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A federal judge in New York has ordered a jury trial in a case accusing CNN anchor Don Lemon of assaulting a man in a Hamptons bar in 2018.

The order was entered into the court system on December 20, 2021 and reported Monday by Radaronline, marking the latest public relations challenge for the cable news network.

President and CEO of CNN Worldwide Jeff Zucker last week was forced to resign over a romantic relationship with a top female executive.

Anchor Chris Cumo was forced out in December 2021 after revelations that he helped his brother, then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, with messaging strategies related to sexual harassment allegations, which was followed by an accusation by a former colleague of sexual misconduct by the anchor..

The suit against Lemon was filed in 2019 by Dustin Hice, a bartender who alleges the anchor "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 [Hice's] mustache," also according to Radar.

Lemon then allegedly asked Hice a lewd question about his sexual preference. 

Lemon has denies the allegations and has accused Hice of attempting to extort him in the past, and has recently accused the plaintiff of destroying evidence in the case.

Lemon also had objected to a jury trial and instead wants a bench trial, which allows both sides to argue before a judge who would make the final decision in the case.

The judge in his ruling said Lemon will not suffer any harm and has "sufficient time to prepare for trial."

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