A former official at the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office has filed a defamation lawsuit against Netflix over his depiction in the media company's hit documentary series “Making a Murderer.”
Retired Lt. Andrew Colborn filed a defamation suit on Monday against the streaming service and the show's filmmakers, claiming that he has been the target of "ridicule, contempt and disdain" since the show's release in 2015.
The show depicted the trial and conviction of Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey in connection with the death of Wisconsin woman Teresa Halbach in 2005. Both men are behind bars serving life sentences.
Colborn accused the show of insinuating that he and officers at the Manitowoc County Sheriff's office planted evidence to incriminate Avery.
“Neither plaintiff nor any other law enforcement officer planted evidence or in any other way attempted to frame Avery or Dassey for Halbach’s murder,” the lawsuit states. “Despite overwhelming evidence proving Avery and Dassey’s guilt and the utter absence of evidence supporting defendant’s accusations of police misconduct, defendants falsely led viewers to the inescapable conclusion that plaintiff and others planted evidence to frame Avery for Halbach’s murder.”
The lawsuit alleges three counts including defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence on the part of the defendants and calls for “retraction and honest clarification of the erroneous and false statements and depictions.”
Netflix declined to comment to The Hill.
Colborn's attorney, Michael Griesbach, said in a statement obtained by the Manitowoc Herald Times that his client's "reputation and that of Manitowoc County, itself, has been severely and unjustly defamed. He is filing this lawsuit to set the record straight and to restore his good name."
Griesbach and Colborn will not address the lawsuit publicly, saying it "will be resolved where it should be, not in the court of public opinion where a related case has been much discussed, but in a court of law."
The first season of the show was released on Dec. 18, 2015, and was reportedly viewed by more than 19 million viewers in the first 35 days. The second season of “Making a Murderer” debuted on Oct. 19.