Megyn Kelly proclaims Lemon’s assault accuser was paid off — with absolutely no proof
By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links
After Puck News’ Dylan Byers tweeted “Assault lawsuit against CNN’s @donlemon *dropped* as plaintiff Dustin Hice now says he misremembered event. Lemon lawyer calls suit ‘crass money grab from its inception,’ hits ‘unethical’ media coverage (likely referring to Fox News, Megyn Kelly who gave it oxygen)…,” Kelly tweeted “There is zero chance they didn’t give Dustin Hice a nice fat check.”
It wasn’t immediately clear if the “they” she referenced was referring to Lemon and his team or CNN (or Lemon in the singular).
Shortly after that, CNN’s communications exec Matt Dornic tweeted “Wrong. Did u read the statement megyn?” and including a screenshot of Beyer’s story. Kelly did not appear to respond to Dornic.
Kelly, who has a law degree, also fired back at Beyers with “Dylan – I have this amazing bridge I would like to show you. I will sell it to you, cheap! Promise. Wake up, clueless.”
Beyers responded with “Hi @megynkelly—I am operating on the available evidence, as supplied by lawyers on the record. I can’t debate an assertion you’re making if you cannot provide any evidence whatsoever to support it.”
Kelly responded with: “Dylan, let me explain reporting on legal cases since you don’t seem to understand it: lawyers try to spin u. Your job is to try to figure out the real story & not simply repeat spin like a steno (stenographer or court reporter). Case wasn’t falling apart – that was attny BS. Lemon was terrified of June trial.”
Throughout the exchange on May 2, 2022, Kelly never offered any concrete evidence that there was any reason for the case being dropped other than the publicly announced one. She also offered no evidence of her assertion of Lemon’s being “terrified” of taking the case to court.
It’s of course entirely true that attorneys often “spin” statements and forge backroom deals to make cases go away, but Kelly has yet to offer any evidence that such a thing ever happened — she instead appears to be relying entirely on her own assumptions and, apparently, what she’s learned over the years from her legal and TV experience.
Kelly is free to make assertions about any number of topics that reflect her own opinion or experience, but it’s generally considered best practice to label such statements as such, though the fact it was coming from Kelly’s personal Twitter account, which is no longer affiliated with any professional news organization, could make such labeling implied.
However, Kelly’s tweets read almost as if she’s reporting facts, especially with phrases such as “zero chance.” Taken one way, they certainly could be taken as hyperbole and opinion, but that’s a slippery slope to go down and one that not all members of the public may be able to distinguish — to the point some might assume it’s proven fact.
As mentioned, Kelly has been one of the biggest voices to amplify the accusations against Lemon, though it’s not entirely clear why she’s taken such an interest in the case other than the fact she perhaps sees the case as a way to call out CNN and its anchor after her former network, Fox’s conservative cable network, axed both Bill O’Reilly and CEO Roger Ailes after high profile sexual assault accusations were found to have merit based on internal investigations. Her other former employer, NBC, also fired Matt Lauer under a similar cloud.
Kelly’s motives for focusing so much on Lemon’s case have been questioned by others given that he is both a gay and Black man.
“Unfortunately, being a gay Black man in the media, he has had to deal with these sorts of attacks for quite some time,” a member of Lemon’s legal team told The Advocate.
In another twist to the story, a man named William Erdmann came forward after seeing Hice’s interview on “The Megyn Kelly Show” podcast Kelly hosts.
He recalled, in sworn statement, that Hice, who was suspected of being closeted at the time, once bullied him in almost exactly the same way while the two were in high school together.
Hice was already facing challenges to his case, which claimed assault and emotional distress, as witnesses began to recant their stories of the alleged event, which Lemon has denied from the beginning.