The sexual assault lawsuit lobbed against CNN host Don Lemon just transformed from a relatively minor story into a “yuge” one thanks to a witness who’s come forward.
Filed last week, the suit claims that Lemon inflicted “emotional pain and suffering” on New York City resident Dustin Hice when he allegedly approached the plaintiff at Murf’s Backstreet Tavern in Sag Harbor, Long Island, in July of 2018, and then proceeded to fondle his own genitals and then shove his hand under the plaintiff ‘s nose.
Pillar of society!https://t.co/kKkthuUXQD
— Moccasin (@The_Moccasin_) August 15, 2019
Because of the bizarre nature of the allegation and Lemon’s denial of this ever occurring, the story attracted limited attention at first. But then in an interview late last week with Fox News, Hice’s former boss, George Gounelas, confirmed Hice’s allegations to a T.
Hice’s allegations were specifically that he’d seen Lemon at the tavern, offered to buy him a drink, been rebuffed, politely stepped way and then had been assaulted.
“Dustin worked for me as a bartender [and] we went out after work one night,” Gounelas’s recollection of the night’s events began. “We were standing there and he said, ‘Hey, that’s Don Lemon.'”
“Murf’s is a place you go to drink after you’ve been out drinking. We had just gotten off of work. So that’s why we ended up there, because we worked in the restaurant business. So by the time everything is done, we can only hit a late-night spot,” he continued.
Lemon does have a history of getting drunk … as well as being hypocritical:
Gounelas continued by recounting how Hice then approached Lemon to start a conversation but was rebuffed. He respectfully walked away and that was that until the CNN host suddenly decided to approach him.
“Don Lemon has now come around the corner and is standing face to face with us,” he said. “There is a beam, a pole, in the place. Don’s standing up against the pole, face to face with Dustin, I turn around and I’m standing right there between the two of them. He’s saying, ‘So you like me? Is that why you’re bothering me?'”
While he couldn’t recall Lemon’s exact words, he said it was “along the lines of, ‘Do you like me? Is that why you’re bothering me, because you wanna f**k me?'”
“Nah, man, I just wanted to say, ‘What’s up?'” Hice then allegedly replied.
Lemon, who appeared “pretty drunk,” then did the unthinkable.
“He put his hands down his pants, inside his board shorts, grabbed his [genitals], and then came out with two fingers and, like, clipped Dustin’s nose up and down with two fingers asking ‘do you like p***y or d**k?’” Gounelas recalled.
Man says he witnessed CNN host Don Lemon’s alleged assault: ‘I was kind of making fun, I feel bad now’ https://t.co/LRLxbBiTcr
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) August 17, 2019
He added that, though he’d initially mocked Hice over Lemon’s “gross” behavior, he could tell that his friend and workplace colleague wasn’t pleased.
“Dustin was in this shock mode saying, ‘Bro, did that just happen? That was disgusting,'” he recalled his friend saying.
Gounelas did admit though that he wasn’t really necessarily surprised by Lemon’s behavior.
“The whole thing is like, I go out in the Hamptons, I live out here, I have a restaurant, I get it, people get crazy. To me, it was just another thing. To [Dustin], he was like shocked,” he said.
What remains unclear, he continued, is whether Lemon, who’s openly gay, had been trying to start a fight or had simply been flirting with Hice. He does appear to have a track record for flirting with anything and everything, including even psychopathic women.
Case in point:
“I guess it’s a little of both,” Gounelas continued. “If someone had done that to me, I probably would have punched him. But I think it might have been flirting. I think Dustin was more in shock … If someone was flirting with me like that I’d say, ‘alright man, I’m not gay.’ I wouldn’t go up to a girl like that. It could be his way of flirting.”
Just to be clear, were a man to act the same way toward a woman, he’d likely be accused of sexual assault, if not also beat up by the woman’s male friends.
“As his boss, I was kind of making fun. I feel bad now,” Gounelas concluded.
What’s unclear is why Hice waited so long to complain about Lemon. Moreover, why did he never contact the authorities? It’s questions like these that led many in the public to initially dismiss his lawsuit as a frivolous smear.
But now that a witness has come forward, the public’s attitude appears to be switching:
That’s surprising. I initially thought the guy making the claim was probably lying. Maybe not?
— TheRealRunninboy (@TRunninboy) August 18, 2019
An eyewitness has corroborated the sexual assault allegation against Don Lemon.
I upgrade the allegation against Lemon from likely hoax to 25% probability of true. https://t.co/XBbDrYWFr1
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) August 17, 2019
Now that there’s a corroborating witness, doesn’t the mantra become “Don Lemon has been *credibly* accused of sexual assault”?
— RobertMCle (@RobertMCle) August 17, 2019
What’s in it for the former boss? I’d say his story sounds pretty sincere, especially the way he was making some excuses for Lemons behavior and implicating himself as not having reacted appropriately. A liar would not likely do those things. I’d say it’s a high chance of truth.
— Darren Smith (@jadrievic) August 17, 2019
I’d say it’s now a 50% probability that Jussie Smollett’s friend Don Lemon did this.
— RobertMCle (@RobertMCle) August 17, 2019
After reading that, I’m pretty sure it happened. If it had been a women he did this to, he’s be buried.
— AngelaP (@RVAPhotoGirl) August 17, 2019
Nevertheless, as of Sunday morning, the vast majority of the mainstream media — including The New York Times, HuffPost and the Associated Press — had not reported Hice’s allegations to their audience.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post had run a story portraying CNN as the real victim:
CNN says “orchestrated” setups are targeting its journalists —
CNN increasingly sees itself as subject to threats after incidents involving Cuomo, Lemon, Ryan https://t.co/HQ5w6KRLDd
— Julie Stanton ??♀️☀️??? (@Seamuskitty) August 16, 2019
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