Netflix “When They See Us” director Ava Duvernay is facing legal action after Linda Fairstein, the prosecutor in the Central Park 5 Case, claimed the docuseries defamed her.
The prosecutor in the Central Park 5 case, Linda Fairstein, has filed a lawsuit against Ava Duvernay and When They See Us co-writer Attica Locke, as well as Netflix for defamation. TMZ reports Fairstein filed documents to court on Wednesday announcing that she sent a letter warning Duvernay and Netflix that she would be filing a lawsuit against them if the docuseries were released out of fear of the “false” and “defamatory” portrayal. Ultimately, she was met with a response from Duvernay claiming that she had no authority objecting the film because she hadn’t seen it.
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Fairstein’s essentially claimed that everything in the film, at least when it pertained to her, was a lie. She accused Duvernay and the writers of painting her out as a “racist, unethical villain who is determined to jail innocent children of color at any cost.” Fairstein said Netflix and Duvernay fell short of being factual when they portrayed her as a prosecutor who unlawfully interrogated minors without an accompanying adult, advocating for the arrests of “young black” thugs and calling POC’s animals, spinning the timeline of the Central Park jogger case, and much more. She’s essentially claiming that they lied when they portrayed her.
The backlash she received after When They See Us aired hit her pockets heavily, she claimed. Her published and agents dropped her, she stopped getting booked for public speaking appearances, and she was forced to resign from her position from several boards for non-profit organizations.
Fairstein’s suing Netflix, Duvernay, and Locke for defamation and wants damages. She demands a public apology, removal of the scenes that she claims are false, and a disclaimer that these scenes are dramatized and not based on a true story. We’ll see how that works out for her.
Netflix issued a statement regarding Fairstein’s suit. “Linda Fairstein’s frivolous lawsuit is without merit. We intend to vigorously defend When They See Us and Ava DuVernay and Attica Locke, the incredible team behind the series,” a rep for Netflix said.