Don Lemon’s accuser suddenly drops lawsuit, claiming he misremembered, Megyn Kelly throws shade

Assault charges against CNN’s Don Lemon were dropped Monday ahead of a June trial, fueling speculation of a payoff as podcaster Megyn Kelly argued, “There is zero chance they didn’t give Dustin Hice a nice fat check.”

Following the initial suit from 2019, attorneys for Hice and Lemon filed a Stipulation of Voluntary Dismissal with Prejudice Monday in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York. That stipulation marked a notable change from a previous judge ruling that Hice was required to pay out over $77,000 in legal fees for Lemon as now they would each “bear their own costs and attorneys’ fees.”

According to Dylan Byers, senior correspondent for Puck, Hice released a statement confessing that he had originally misremembered the incident wherein he accused Lemon of putting his hand down his own pants, “rubbing himself aggressively and [shoving] his two fingers up underneath [Hice’s] mustache,” before inquiring about the plaintiff’s sexuality.

“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,” Hice reportedly stated.

However, Kelly doesn’t believe this to be so. Having covered the case at length, she reacted to Byers’ reporting on Monday’s filing by stating, “There is zero chance they didn’t give Dustin Hice a nice fat check.”

“Case suddenly goes away on eve of trial,” she wrote, “& u believe it happened w/o Lemon’s ppl paying up? If so you’re as dumb as Lemon. Also, the only unethical media behavior here was the [mainstream media] running cover for one of their own & ignoring Dustin’s MeTo story. (But then, that’s NBC’s thing.)”

While Dylan tried to refute Kelly’s assertion of a payout by reporting Hice was the only witness corroborating his own story and that a judge had ordered he pay the more than $77,000 in fees (seemingly nullified by the stipulation) she didn’t back down.

Further attempts to debunk the podcaster’s claims that this was financially settled out of court referred Kelly to the statement issued by Lemon’s attorney Caroline Polisi who, in declaring Lemon a victim who “had to remain silent in the face of a malicious and vulgar attack on his character,” and as “a gay Black man in the media, he has had to deal with these sorts of attacks for quite some time,” went on to attack Hice who is prohibited from re-filing suit on this matter.

“The Court’s ruling fully vindicates Mr. Lemon and brings an end to this abusive lawsuit,” Polisi wrote in part. “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. I hope that many in the media have learned their lesson on misreporting the facts and jumping to conclusions. The reporting on this story by many outlets has been a case-study in unethical and uninformed reporting.”

Byers went on to lump Kelly into that category of “unethical and uninformed reporting,” by saying he was using evidence presented by lawyers whereas she had offered nothing to support her claim. She fired back by offering a tutorial on legal reporting.

“Dylan, let me explain reporting on legal cases since you don’t seem to understand it,” Kelly derided, “lawyers try to spin u. Your job is to try to figure out the real story & not simply repeat spin like a steno. Case wasn’t falling apart – that was attny BS. Lemon was terrified of June trial.”

In response to Kelly’s accusations, Polisi issued a statement to Mediaite, “The only monetary judgement in this case came from the Court ordering Mr. Hice to pay Mr. Lemon’s attorneys fees because of his egregious misconduct in this litigation. It doesn’t get much clearer than that.”


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Kevin Haggerty


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