Former New York City prosecutor Linda Fairstein filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Netflix for what she claims was a defamatory portrayal of her in the Ava DuVernay series “When They See Us.”
Fairstein was dropped by her publisher and resigned from several organizations last year after the series inspired scrutiny over her role in the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of five teenagers of color in the 1990s.
The series, which debuted in May, tells the true story of Korey Wise, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray and Kevin Richardson, five black and Latino teenagers, who were wrongfully convicted of raping a white female jogger in 1989.
The youths, dubbed the “Central Park Five” by the media at the time of the case, were eventually exonerated in 2002. They have now adopted the name “The Exonerated Five.”
Though Fairstein did not prosecute the case personally, she was the head of the Manhattan District Attorney’s sex crimes unit at the time of the case.
Fairstein claims the show falsely depicted her as a “a racist, unethical villain who is determined to jail innocent children of color at any cost.”
“The portrayal of Ms. Fairstein in the film series was deliberately calculated to create one, clear and unmistakable villain to be targeted for hatred and vilification for what happened to The Five,” the lawsuit said.Fairstein is seeking $75,000 in damages for economic losses, lost career opportunities, reputational harm, and emotional distress.The suit alleges that in at least three episodes, Fairstein appears to be the “mastermind” behind the […]