The plaintiff in a sexual assault case against CNN host Don Lemon has recanted. According to The Advocate, Dustin Hice—a Hampton’s bartender dropped the suit saying that he misremembered the night’s events.
Hice dropped the charges just weeks after he was ordered to pay Lemon $77,000 in attorney fees and days before the civil trial in the case was set to begin.
The incident in question allegedly occurred in July 2018 when Hice was bartending and recognized the media figure. He offered Lemon a drink which was declined and he says that later Lemon fondled himself in front of him and crassly asked about his sexual preference.
Hice claimed in a 2019 lawsuit that the interaction left him with debilitating mental health problems.
In the span of the incident and its subsequent lawsuit, a global pandemic has occurred and the suit lost steam with several witnesses recanting or contradicting Hice’s claims, according to The Advocate.
Hice’s attorney, Robert Barnes, sent The Advocate the following statement on behalf of his client:
“After a lot of inner reflection and a deep dive into my memory, I have come to realize that my 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. As a result, I am dropping the case.”
Lemon’s attorney, Caroline Polisi, also released a statement writing, “Thankfully, Mr. Hice was finally able to access his memory and recollect the correct version of events on the night when he approached Don Lemon,” Polisi tells The Advocate. “The court’s ruling fully vindicates Mr. Lemon and brings an end to this abusive lawsuit. This case was a crass money grab from its inception. Mr. Lemon has never paid the plaintiff a dime over the course of this unfortunate spectacle, and he is looking forward to moving on with his life.”