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Netflix, Ava DuVernay Settle Defamation Lawsuit Over ‘When They See Us’

Netflix, Ava DuVernay Settle Defamation Lawsuit Over ‘When They See Us’

Netflix and Ava DuVernay have settled a lawsuit brought by a former New York City prosecutor who alleged she was defamed over her portrayal in When They See Us.

The deal, announced on Tuesday, arrives as the trial was scheduled to start next week.

“The parties announce that they have resolved this lawsuit,” Netflix, DuVernay and Linda Fairstein, the ex-prosecutor, said in a joint statement. “Netflix will donate $1 million to the Innocence Project. Ms. Fairstein will not receive any money as part of this settlement.”

Throughout the series, Fairstein is portrayed as the face of an unscrupulous criminal justice system intent on securing convictions against five Harlem teenagers alleged to have raped Trisha Meili, a white jogger in Central Park. She’s depicted as directing officers to harshly interrogate the boys in violation of their constitutional rights and ultimately coercing the confessions that landed them in prison. In 2020, she sued for defamation in a lawsuit claiming that certain plot points were reverse-engineered to falsely attribute actions, responsibility and viewpoints to her that weren’t true.

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