The man who has made headlines accusing CNN host Don Lemon of sexually assaulting him is speaking out this week to slam the network as “a predator protecting machine.”

Dustin Hice has long claimed that Lemon sexually assaulted him at a bar in Long Island, New York back in the summer of 2018. After a lengthy legal process, the case is finally expected to go to court early in 2022.

Lemon spoke out to react to CNN finally firing Chris Cuomo, a close friend of Lemon’s, after some sexual misconduct scandals of his own.

“They’re a network rife with predators and perverts,” Hice told Fox News. “Lemon will have to testify under oath in the near future, but it’s good to see that there’s finally some accountability happening.”

CNN has stood by Lemon in the wake of Hice going public with his claims, much like the network stood by Cuomo until proof was released by the New York attorney general’s office showing that he did far more than he claimed to protect his brother Andrew Cuomo in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.

“This is who they are,” Hice said of CNN. “They’re a predator-protecting machine, they slander and smear victims with impunity. They’ve tried to grind me down, they’ve attempted to intimidate witnesses in my case, they’ve released confidential information about me in attempt to doxx me. They are complicit. This is who they are.”

While CNN would not comment on Hice’s latest statements, Lemon fired back through his attorney Caroline J. Polisi.

“In response to Mr. Hice’s baseless allegations, I encourage people to review the public filings, which show that Mr. Hice’s claims have been steadily eroding when they have been exposed to the civil litigation process,” she said.

“Mr. Hice’s fanciful and salacious allegations against Mr. Lemon have collapsed of their own weight,” Polisi added. “Unlike Mr. Hice, Mr. Lemon has litigated, and will continue to litigate this case in the courtroom, not the press. We look forward to the approaching trial so he can finally put this case behind him.”

Cuomo and Lemon are known to be good friends, and they would often engage in playful banter during the handoff between their respective shows.

“The blessing is that we’re actually friends,” Cuomo said to Lemon earlier this year. “A lot of stuff in the media is phony. A lot of couples that you see on news shows, they are friendly for the purpose of the show, and that’s neither good nor bad. It is not the case with us.”

CNN fired Cuomo on Saturday, putting an end to any more of these sendoffs.

“Today I let Chris know that we are ending his employment at CNN,” CNN president Jeff Zucker wrote in a memo to staffers. “It goes without saying that these decisions are not easy, and there are a lot of complex factors involved. But, as always, it was important to me to be upfront with each of you.”

Cuomo has since fired back with a statement of his own.

“This is not how I want my time at CNN to end, but I have already told you why and how I helped my brother,” Cuomo said. “So let me now say as disappointing as this is, I could not be more proud of the team at ‘Cuomo Prime Time’ and the work we did as CNN’s #1 show in the most competitive time slot. I owe them all and will miss that group of special people who did really important work.”

Hice has previously said that the “vile, disgusting, lewd and inhumane” attack he allegedly suffered at the hands of Lemon would be portrayed differently in the media if he were a woman.

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