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Former Manhattan prosecutor sues Netflix, Ava DuVernay over portrayal in ‘Exonerated Five’ show

Central Park 5 prosecutor Linda Fairstein
Posted at 6:35 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 18:39:54-04

FORT MYERS, Fla — A former Manhattan prosecutor filed a defamation lawsuit Wednesday against Netflix and filmmaker Ava DuVernay over her portrayal in "When They See Us," which dramatized the wrongful conviction of five teens for the rape and beating of a female jogger.

In the fallout after the miniseries' release, Linda Fairstein was dropped by her publisher. Fairstein resigned from several nonprofit boards after #CancelLindaFairstein spread on social media.

Fairstein did not try the case, but she was the top Manhattan sex crimes prosecutor at the time in 1989. In the years since, she has defended the conduct of authorities involved in the case.

She is seeking $75,000 in damages, according to the suit filed in Fort Myers, Fla.

“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 reads.

"When They See Us" co-producer Attica Locke is also named in Fairstein's lawsuit.

PIX11 has reached out to Netflix for comment.