The widow of a murder victim is suing producers of the popular true crime drama "Fatal Attraction" for defamation.
The suit names cable network TV ONE and the production company Jupiter Entertainment, alleging the show wrongly suggested she was a suspect in her husband's death before later revealing another man committed the crime. The suit also claims the episode misrepresented the couple's relationship.
"Fatal Attraction" is a crime series which depicts true life crime stories, airing regularly on TV ONE, a cable channel based out of Silver Spring, Maryland. The program, now in its eighth season, featured an episode in March 2014 detailing the 2009 murder of Michael Brooks in Florida.
Brooks' widow, Felisha Brooks, filed a defamation suit in U.S. District Court for Maryland Monday, alleging the episode, by way of its producers, "instantly suggest (she) may be the suspect" in her husband's killing. According to the suit, the show described an extramarital affair between Brooks' husband and another woman. The suit said the show later reveals the other woman's husband murdered Brooks.
A jury convicted Jeffrey Washington, of Florida, for Brooks' murder in 2010.
According to the lawsuit, "Defendants, therefore, knew or should have known that the plaintiff was not the killer before, during and after production of the show."
The suit also claims the program misrepresented the relationship between Brooks and her husband, stating "woven throughout the show and central to the defendants' theme was that Mr. Brooks was miserable in his marriage with plaintiff; in fact, it was stated that he and plaintiff had separated." According to the lawsuit, the couple were not divorced at the time of his demise, "neither were they separated."
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"We have received notice of the suit," Urban One's executive vice president Karen Wishart told the News4 I-Team. "We vigorously disagree with the characterization of the matter and look forward to prompt resolution."
Responses to the lawsuit have not yet been filed.
The attorney representing Brooks had previously sued TV ONE over an episode of "Fatal Attraction" in 2014, alleging defamation for falsely suggesting a former romantic partner of a murder victim committed the crime, before revealing he had not. The suit also alleged the program misrepresented a romantic relationship. That suit was eventually dismissed at the plaintiff's request, but court records do not specify if that was because of a settlement.