(Nancy) Grace & CNN Under Fire
A federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit claiming CNN‘s Nancy Grace drove the mother of a missing toddler to suicide can go forward.
I’m of two minds on this one. As a journalist, I’m aware of the chilling effect such suits could have. But as a human being who happens to be a journalist, I’m well aware that Grace has worked diligently to make her brand the intentionally-cruel interview and has done so with the full support of CNN.
Duckett appeared on Grace’s show after her son Trenton disappeared from her Florida apartment in August 2006, and Grace accused the 21-year-old mother of giving vague answers and of hiding something. Duckett fatally shot herself before CNN aired the interview, taking with her vital information regarding the child, who remains missing.
Duckett’s family claims in the lawsuit that Grace’s intense questioning caused severe emotional distress that led to the suicide. It also claims that the decision to air the interview after her suicide caused the family to suffer severe emotional distress and media and public harassment. They are seeking a jury trial, unspecified damages more than $15,000 and punitive damages.
Duckett family attorney Jay Paul Deratany said attorneys will begin taking testimony.
“There is more information out there to be gleaned,” said Deratany. “If Melinda had any information, Nancy Grace stopped the investigation in its track.”
Police have said Duckett is the only suspect in her son’s disappearance.
Not surprising, CNN has neither commented on the ruling nor aired anything about it.