News, Culture & Society

Don Lemon’s lawyer puts Megyn Kelly on blast after ‘vendetta’ interview with accuser

Attorney Caroline J. Polisi (pictured), bashed the Kelly for having Dustin Hice on her show

An attorney for CNN’s Don Lemon is slamming radio host Megyn Kelly for allowing a man who claims the newsman sexually assaulted him three years ago to appear on her show this week, where she conducted a ‘lopsided and inaccurate’ interview because she has a ‘vendetta’ against the anchor. 

In a scathing letter addressed to Kelly and obtained by DailyMail.com on Tuesday, Lemon’s lawyer, Caroline J. Polisi, bashed the journalist for having Dustin Hice on her SiriusXM program, The Megyn Kelly Show, Monday morning, saying the 40-year-old accuser’s claims are ‘fabricated.’ 

In the letter, which was accompanied by an October 1 court filing pertaining to Hice’s case against Lemon, Polisi takes aim at Kelly’s abilities as a journalist, saying she willfully ignored facts that had been uncovered during the case’s proceedings during her interview with Hice in order to satisfy her own agenda.

‘Given that you are a journalist,’ Polisi’s letter begins, ‘I would have expected, at a minimum, that you would have reviewed the filings on the public docket, such as the attached motion papers, which, citing to supporting evidence, substantially undermines Mr. Hice’s credibility and as well as the outlandish story he fabricated about Mr. Lemon.’ 

‘You did not pose any questions to Mr. Hice about these matters,’ Polisi goes on to discern in the correspondence, which was sent to Kelly via email on Monday.

‘Instead,’ Polisi continues, Kelly ‘accepted his narrative wholesale, leaving your listeners with a lopsided and inaccurate understanding of Mr. Hice’s allegations or the strength of the evidence he has against Mr. Lemon. 

‘You permitted Mr. Hice’s statements to go unchallenged during your broadcast, clearly out of a vendetta you have against Mr. Lemon.’ 

Hice, 40, appeared on Monday’s installment of The Megyn Kelly Show on SiriusXM as Lemon’s attorneys aggressively attempt to discredit his lawsuit in court filings, charging the ex-bartender with withholding critical texts, deleting social media posts and hiding a witness that disputes his claims. 

Hice has claimed he saw Lemon, 55, at Murf’s Backstreet Tavern in Long Island’s upscale Hamptons in July 2018 and decided to offer to buy him a shot, going over to the newsman and ordering lemon drops – an attempt at humor, he said, claiming he ‘didn’t mean anything derogatory.’ 

Hice sensationally claimed in his suit, filed in 2019, that Lemon, who is gay, seemingly rejected the cocktail and walked away – but then came back over minutes later and allegedly put his hand down his own pants, rubbing his private parts and then shoving his fingers into Hice’s face while asking the then-37-year-old, ‘Do you like p**** or d***?’ 

 

In Polisi's letter emailed to Kelly Monday, accompanied by an October 1 court filing pertaining to Hice's case against Lemon, the lawyer criticized the host of The Megyn Kelly Show's abilities as a journalist, saying she willfully ignored facts that had been uncovered during the case's proceedings during her interview with Hice in order to satisfy her own agenda

 In Polisi’s letter emailed to Kelly Monday, accompanied by an October 1 court filing pertaining to Hice’s case against Lemon, the lawyer criticized the host of The Megyn Kelly Show’s abilities as a journalist, saying she willfully ignored facts that had been uncovered during the case’s proceedings during her interview with Hice in order to satisfy her own agenda

Accuser Hice, 40, detailed his alleged encounter with Lemon on The Megyn Kelly Show Monday, even as the anchor's attorneys have aggressively attempted to discredit his lawsuit in court filings, charging the ex-bartender with withholding critical texts, deleting social media posts and hiding a witness that disputes his claims

Accuser Hice, 40, detailed his alleged encounter with Lemon on The Megyn Kelly Show Monday, even as the anchor’s attorneys have aggressively attempted to discredit his lawsuit in court filings, charging the ex-bartender with withholding critical texts, deleting social media posts and hiding a witness that disputes his claims

‘Anybody that acts like that in public without any fear of what it might it do to somebody or the consequences it might have, that’s a pattern,’ Hice told host Megyn Kelly Monday after she asked if the anchor’s actions seemed like something he had done before. 

Lemon’s legal team has repeatedly denied the allegation. 

‘I wouldn’t be surprised,’ Hice added. ‘He’s protected by the fact that he’s African American, a gay man, on television, and I’m just some nobody.’ 

Lemon, a longtime fixture at the liberal news network, is openly gay and has been wed to 37-year-old real estate agent Tim Malone since 2017, and was married when the alleged altercation took place. 

Hice told Kelly, 50, during Monday’s interview that he is straight. 

Lemon, a longtime fixture at the liberal news network, is openly gay and has been wed to a man, 37-year-old real estate agent Tim Malone, since 2017, and was married when the alleged altercation took place

Lemon, a longtime fixture at the liberal news network, is openly gay and has been wed to a man, 37-year-old real estate agent Tim Malone, since 2017, and was married when the alleged altercation took place

He also claimed to the former Fox News host that CNN has apparently tried to pay him off three times – to the tune of $500,000 – in order to settle the lawsuit.

In her letter, Polisi hit back at Hice’s claims concerning the alleged hush money, while pointing out Kelly’s hypocrisy by giving Lemon’s accuser a platform, since she advertises her Sirius show as ‘featuring “honest” conversations without “BS” or “agenda.”‘

‘The big headline from your podcast today is the false and misleading allegation that Mr. Lemon offered substantial sums of money to settle Mr. Hice’s claims against him,’ Polisi pointed out.

The attorney went on to clarify that Lemon offered to settle Hice’s ‘claims for a nuisance value of $8,000’ – but revealed that Hice demanded $1.5 million to not go public with the claims before Lemon was set to host a Democratic Presidential Primary debate on national television in 2020.

The anchor, however, ‘refused to be blackmailed with Mr. Hice’s meritless claims and declined them,’ according to Polisi.

Per Hice’s lawsuit, ‘[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 Plaintiff’s mustache and under Plaintiff’s nose.’

However, Polisi refuted Hice’s account of the events that night with her client at Murf’s, claiming he ‘cynically and opportunistically fabricated a “sexual assault” out of a brief, unremarkable encounter with Mr. Lemon one evening at a bar during the summer of 2018.’

Polisi went on to claim that the pair’s alleged interaction that night was ‘preceded by Mr. Hice’s unprovoked verbal harassment and taunting of Mr. Lemon. 

‘Given that Lemon did not engage or acknowledge his accuser’s “nonstop harassment,’ she adds, ‘Mr. Hice spent the rest of the summer repeatedly trespassing and littering on Mr. Lemon’s residence.’

Polisi went on to emphasize that Hice has no eyewitness to the alleged assault – with one observer of Lemon’s alleged misdeeds being Hice’s buddy, mentioned in the interview with Kelly, who took back his initial statement made to the press that said he saw Lemon harassing Hice.

‘The supposed eyewitness to the event in question—whom Mr. Hice and his counsel paraded before the media shortly after filing this frivolous lawsuit—recanted the statements he previously made to the press during his sworn deposition testimony, and admitted that he may not actually recall seeing the events as Mr. Hice has (falsely) described them,’ the letter read. 

What’s more, the court filings detailing the sordid case include screenshots of messages Hice sent to his friend, the witness, regarding the lawsuit filed against the CNN anchor, in which Hice jokes about being able to retire after eventually winning the case – despite claims in the Kelly interview that the lawsuit ‘isn’t about me trying to get money.’ 

In the screengrabs, Hice assures his pal that he will ‘take care’ of him after scoring the prospective windfall.

In the recorded messages, Hice also joked about how Lemon’s fiancé Malone was handling the allegations, speculating to his friend: ‘I’m sure he and [Tim] probably had a little tiff over this one.’

In the Monday interview, Hice, 40, described to Kelly how CNN's Don Lemon allegedly asked him 'Do you like me?' and if he liked 'p**** or d***'

In the Monday interview, Hice, 40, described to Kelly how CNN’s Don Lemon allegedly asked him ‘Do you like me?’ and if he liked ‘p**** or d***’

A bartender at The Old Stove Pub in Sagaponack, a village in Southampton, Hice detailed to Kelly during their Monday interview how he and a few of his coworkers ended up at Murf’s on or around the evening of July 15, 2018. 

Hice said that upon entering the establishment, he recognized the CNN stalwart. 

‘So I walked in, and I saw him right out of the corner of my eye and sitting in the over to the right,’ Hice recalled to Kelly of the encounter, saying he was then accompanied by his boss, George.

‘He was with a group of a couple other men,’ Hice continued, ‘and I said to George, I said, ‘Look that’s Don Lemon right there.’ 

‘I decided to approach him, and I said, ‘Hey, Don let me buy you a drink,’ 

Hice then detailed how, before Lemon could respond, he quickly called to the bartender for a pair of drinks for him and the celebrity – asking for two lemon drops, a play on the host’s last name, Hice explained, saying the cheeky offer was just him ‘being cordial.’ 

‘I didn’t mean anything derogatory,’ he told Kelly. 

According to Hice, Lemon did not seem amused by the off-duty bartender’s attempt at humor, brushing Hice off by saying, ‘I’m just trying to have a good time.’

‘As soon as he said “I’m just trying to have a good time,“ I just walked away,’ Hice told Kelly.

Lemon’s attorneys, however, argued in a court filing that Hice taunted Lemon and ‘repeatedly yelled’ across the bar, but that the host declined. 

Hice charges that Lemon came up to him mere minutes later and started speaking to him before launching the alleged assault – which Hice described in detail to Kelly.

‘So I walk around the bar, um, and about five minutes goes by and he walks, he comes around the bar, and comes up to me, and he says, um, pardon my language, but he says, “Do you like me? Is that why you’re f***ing with me?”

‘And I said, “No, I just wanted to say what’s up.” And I was just like, “What’s this guy’s problem?”’

The ex-bartender also claimed that Lemon made a lewd statement several times during the alleged encounter.

Hice claims that he was out with co-workers at Murf¿s Backstreet Tavern (above) in Sag Harbor on or around July 15, 2018, when he spotted Lemon

Hice claims that he was out with co-workers at Murf’s Backstreet Tavern (above) in Sag Harbor on or around July 15, 2018, when he spotted Lemon

Hice then described in detail how Lemon allegedly fondled his own genitals at the Hamptons bar and used two of his fingers on that same hand to push Hice’s head back while harassing him.

‘I look at my boss, and I look back, and he has his hand in his pants rubbing himself aggressively, and he shoves his two fingers up underneath my moustache, thrusts my head back, and says, “Do you like p**** or d***?”

‘And he said it like two or three times after that, and I just said, “What the hell, man,” and I just ran out the back door.’

Hice claimed the anchor was visibly intoxicated during the encounter.

CNN did not immediately return DailyMail.com’s request for comment regarding the alleged incident on Tuesday. A network spokesperson has previously publicly slammed Hice as a dishonest opportunist and extortionist looking to capitalize on the chance meeting. 

‘The plaintiff in this lawsuit has previously displayed a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts,’ the spokesperson told USA Today in 2019. 

‘This claim follows his unsuccessful threats and demands for an exorbitant amount of money from Don Lemon.’ 

Over the past three years, lawyers for Lemon have outlined a lengthy discovery process in court filings that saw Hice allegedly admit to deleting numerous social media posts. 

Hice described in detail how Lemon allegedly touched his own genitals at the Hamptons bar and used two of his fingers on that same hand to push Hice's head back while harassing him

Hice described in detail how Lemon allegedly touched his own genitals at the Hamptons bar and used two of his fingers on that same hand to push Hice’s head back while harassing him

Lemon’s attorneys also added that Hice indicated in text messages to a key witness in the case – one of his coworkers who was at Murf’s during the alleged altercation – that the two could potentially score some cash for a collaborative testimony that corroborated his account of the incident. 

However, according to Lemon’s legal team, the witness revealed in a court deposition that he did not know if Lemon actually had any physical contact with Hice or not.  

What’s more, text messages provided by a third witness showed Hice posing with a Lemon in front of his crotch in front of Lemon’s home. 

A second photo in a recent court filing shows Hice and the key witness rolling on Lemon’s driveway. 

That witness, who didn’t back up Hice’s account of the alleged altercation, was not put forth as a potential witness by Hice’s attorneys, Lemon’s court filings revealed. 

Lemon’s lawyers added that their client is innocent and deny that any instance of assault took place, citing that the anchor ‘is often subjected to racist and homophobic harassment.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk