Linda Fairstein, Netflix Reach Settlement in Defamation Case

Netflix and Linda Fairstein, the novelist and former New York District Attorney who prosecuted the Central Park Five case, have reached a settlement in their defamation case over Ava DuVernay’s 2019 docuseries When They See Us

The settlement includes a $1 million donation to the Innocence Project from Netflix, which will issue a disclaimer at the beginning of the four-part limited series that reads: “While the motion picture is inspired by actual events and persons, certain characters, incidents, locations, dialogue, and names are fictionalized for the purposes of dramatization.”

In a statement, Fairstein said that the case was never “about ‘winning’ or about any financial restitution, but about my reputation and that of my colleagues.” She added: “It was about setting the historical record straight that the villainous caricature invented by the defendants and portrayed on screen was not me. That truth will be reinforced every time a viewer goes to watch the series ever again.”

In response, DuVernay told Deadline that “after years of legal wrangling and millions of dollars spent,” Fairstein “walked away with no payment to her or her lawyers of any kind, rather than face cross examination before a New York jury as to her conduct and character.”

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