Linda Fairstein condemns Netflix series on Central Park Five

Brunilde Fioravanti
Giugno 12, 2019

Linda Fairstein, the prosecutor who is responsible for the false imprisonment of the newly dubbed "Exonerated Five", has lost her publishing deal and stepped down from numerous high power positions following the release of 'When They See Us.' The backlash has seemingly been too much for Fairstein and at approximately 7:30 p.m. on June 10, she published an article entitled, "Netflix's False Story of the Central Park Five" with the Wall Street Journal, telling her side of the story in comparison to Ava DuVernay's depiction of the events on April 19, 1989.

Fairstein says the miniseries falsely portrays her as a "bigot" and "evil mastermind", who was "unethically engineering the police investigation". Fairstein said more than 15 teenagers were apprehended that night after attacking multiple victims.

The four-part series was written and directed by Ava DuVernay, the director of the movies A Wrinkle in Time and Selma, who responded to Fairstein's op-ed on Twitter, writing: "Expected and typical". Calling When They See Us "full of distortions and falsehoods" and an "outrage" in her first significant response to the series, Fairstein goes on to say "Ms. DuVernay does not define me, and her film does not speak the truth".

The 2016 additional settlement awarded Raymond Santana $500,000; Antron McCray $600,000 and Yusef Salaam and Kevin Richardson $650,000 each.

The men allege police did coerce them.

After losing their innocence and spending six to 13 years in prison each for the crimes, a serial rapist confessed to the crime, freeing the young men and exonerating them.

Fairstein also expresses her frustration that "some of these reporters and filmmakers ... assume the prosecution had no basis on which to charge the five suspects in 1989". She wrote, "There is, for example, the African-American woman who testified at the trial-and again during the 2002 re-investigation-that when Korey Wise called her brother, he told her that he had held the jogger down and felt her breasts while others attacked her. It was built to oppress".

The lawyer-turned-New York Times bestselling author said she agreed with exonerations of the rape charges against the five - but said "the other charges, for crimes against other victims, should not have been vacated". "Never happened", she writes.

But as the Washington Post noted, it was not a new claim. Instead, she transitioned into a new role in the private sector as an acclaimed author of a mystery novel series featuring plucky NY prosecutor Alexandra Cooper.

Fairstein's piece also references other crimes the Central Park Five allegedly committed in the park the night of the rape. Fairstein agrees with the vacation of rape charges against them in regard to the female jogger, but that's it.

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