Plaintiff Dustin Hice on Monday dropped his sexual assault lawsuit against CNN anchor Don Lemon, saying that he had a faulty memory of their interactions.
Hice released a statement saying that his “recollection of the events that occurred on the night in question when I first met CNN anchor Don Lemon were not what I thought they were when I filed this lawsuit.”
He said the realization came “after a lot of inner reflection and a deep dive into my memory.”
Hice alleged in 2019 that Lemon approached him and “vigorously rubbed his [Lemon’s] genitalia, removed his hand and shoved his index and middle fingers in Plaintiff’s mustache and under Plaintiff’s nose,” according to court documents.
Lemon’s attorney Caroline Polisi released a statement following the announcement, saying the suit was “a crass money grab from its inception.”
“This has been a long and difficult journey for Don. Out of respect for the judicial process and my advice, he has had to remain silent in the face of a malicious and vulgar attack on his character,” Polisi wrote.
She added: “Unfortunately, being a gay Black man in the media, he has had to deal with these sorts of attacks for quite some time.”
Polisi called the reporting on the story “unethical and uninformed” while reinforcing that Lemon did not pay Hice anything throughout the years-long process of dealing with the suit.
“The Court’s ruling fully vindicates Mr. Lemon and brings an end to this abusive lawsuit,” she wrote.