A CNN spokesperson 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,” the statement said Tuesday. “This claim follows his unsuccessful threats and demands for an exorbitant amount of money from Don Lemon.”
In the lawsuit, Hice said he encountered Lemon, 53, at the tavern when he went out for drinks with friends following his shift at The Old Stove Pub. Hice said he offered to buy the TV host a vodka drink called a “Lemon Drop” but Lemon declined.
Hice alleges that Lemon approached him later that night, where the assault took place.
“(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 (Hice’s) mustache and under (Hice’s) nose,” reads the lawsuit, obtained by Mediaite.
Hice claims Lemon proceeded to ask questions about his sexual preferences, saying, “Do you like (vagina) or (penis)?” The lawsuit added, “While saying this, Mr. Lemon continued to shove his fingers into (Hice’s) face with aggression and hostility.”