Miltenberg: “Former Manhattan Prosecutor Linda Fairstein Sues Netflix and Filmmaker Ava DuVernay Over Portrayal in ‘Central Park Five’ Show,” New York Daily News


Former Manhattan sex crimes prosecutor Linda Fairstein slapped Netflix and Ava DuVernay, creator of the network’s drama about the Central Park Five case, with a defamation lawsuit on Wednesday. DuVernay depicted Fairstein, who oversaw the prosecution team seeking convictions of the five teens arrested for the rape and near fatal beating of jogger Trish Meili in 1989, as a sinister prosecutor bent on snatching a wrongful conviction against the accused, who were all black or Hispanic. The show, “When They See Us,” debuted in May 2019 to broad critical acclaim. But Fairstein was infuriated by the Felicity Huffman’s performance of her. Fairstein filed the 119-page lawsuit in federal court in Fort Myers, Fla., where she now lives. “When They See Us’ portrays Ms. Fairstein in a false and defamatory manner in nearly every scene in the three episodes in which she appears,” the lawsuit said. “The film series’ portrayal of Ms. Fairstein cannot be justified as the mere use of artistic license or dramatization. (Netflix and DuVernay) depict Fairstein ― using her true name ― as a racist, unethical villain who is determined to jail innocent children of color at any cost.” … “She was a pioneer in sex crimes prosecutions, someone who has been a mentor and an inspiration for several generations of prosecutors,”said Fairstein’s lawyer Andrew Miltenberg. “Everything she accomplished as a prosecutor and in her life personally was undone by a vicious and false portrayal.”

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