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Linda Fairstein Pens Op-Ed Against ‘When They See Us’: “Ms. DuVernay Does Not Define Me”

Linda Fairstein Pens Op-Ed Against ‘When They See Us’: “Ms. DuVernay Does Not Define Me”

Linda Fairstein Pens Op-Ed Against 'When They See Us': "Ms. DuVernay Does Not Define Me"
Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The former Central Park 5 prosecutor was recently dropped by her book publisher.

Linda Fairstein, the former Central Park 5 prosecutor who has come under fire following the release of Ava DuVernay‘s Netflix series When They See Us, continues to double down on her criticisms against the series and her portrayal in it.

In the show, Fairstein is portrayed by Felicity Huffman as the main mover of the investigation and persecution of the five teens. Initially, Fairstein said that the series presents “a totally and completely untrue picture of events and my participation,” and puts “words in my mouth that I never said in Oliver Stone fashion.”

Fairstein also called it a “basket of lies” and accused DuVernay of orchestrating a public campaign against her.

“She’s behind it,” Fairstein said. “Her lies are behind it all.”

Now, in a new op-ed for the The Wall Street Journal, Fairstein called the show an “outright fabrication” and argued that even though the Central Park 5 didn’t beat and rape the jogger, they still could’ve taken part in or assaulted other people in the park.

“…the larger picture of that terrible night: a riot in the dark that resulted in the apprehension of more than 15 teenagers who set upon multiple victims,” Fairstein wrote in the op-ed. “…eight others were attacked, including two men who were beaten so savagely that they required hospitalization for head injuries.”

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Fairstein claimed that there is evidence proving that the five were involved in a riot.

“Mr. Reyes’ confession, DNA match and claim that he acted alone required that the rape charges against the five be vacated. I agreed with that decision, and still do. But the other charges, for crimes against other victims, should not have been vacated,” she wrote. “Ms. DuVernay does not define me, and her film does not speak the truth.”

Since the series’ release, Fairstein has been dropped by her book publisher, and has stepped down from the boards of several nonprofits including Safe Horizon victims services agency, God’s Love We Deliver, Joyful Heart Foundation, and Vassar College.


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