The older brother of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey has once again followed through on his word to sue CBS for defamation.
On Wednesday, 29-year-old Burke Ramsey filed a $750 million lawsuit against the TV network for airing The Case of JonBenét Ramsey, a special program comprised to note the 20th anniversary of her death, the Daily Mail reports. The legal maneuver comes less than two months after Ramsey first filed suit against Dr. Werner Spitz, a crime expert who appeared and shared his expertise on the show, and two days after the actual two-decade mark of JonBenet’s December 1996 passing.
In the special, which first aired in September of this year, several crime scene investigators, including Spitz, allude to the possibility that Burke, then 9, could have been the person who killed his baby sister.
“If you really, really use your free time to think about this case,” Spitz said during the program, “you cannot come to a different conclusion.”
Along with the CBS Corporation and Spitz, Burke also names Critical Content LLC, the production company behind The Case of JonBenet Ramsey, as well as consultants Jim Clemente, Laura Richards, Jim Kolar, James Fitzgerald, Stanley Burke, and Henry Lee in the suit. He alleges that their involvement ultimately caused his reputation “permanent damage” due to the “false accusation that he killed his sister.”
Earlier this month, Spitz’s counsel responded to Burke’s initial $150 million claim in a Michigan courtroom, stating that their client’s comments were nothing more than speculation.
“This lawsuit arises from the public discussion about theories involving one of the major unsolved crimes of the 20th Century,” Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP relayed, as noted by People.
“Because the First Amendment protects this speech on a matter of immense public concern, Plaintiff Burke Ramsey’s lawsuit should be dismissed.”
Additionally, Spitz’s attorneys argued that ongoing public interest in the two-decade old case will always bring forth opinions from onlookers.
“[The murder of JonBenét Ramsey is] a subject of significant public interest and controversy,” they said.
“Dr. Spitz expressed his own view, as the First Amendment affords him the right to do, but his speculations, even if firmly held and confidently expressed, are not statements of fact.”
Early this September, the same month The Case of JonBenét Ramsey debuted, Burke sat down with television personality Dr. Phil McGraw in an interview that many believed caused more harm than good. Appearing at times to be noticeably uncomfortable and with an obvious smirk on his face, most viewers walked away from the three-part special wondering if there was more to the story than Burke was willing to share.
McGraw tried his best to dispel that belief to his audience during taping.
“This is anxiety,” he explained.
“He’s socially uncomfortable, I’ve seen it a lot. He’s not autistic, he’s not weird, he’s not creepy. He’s just nervous. This is a young man that has grown up in kind of a siege mentality. I’ve spent a lot of time with him over the last several months, and you have to understand, when this happened he was plucked out because media was all over them.”
Burke, meanwhile, reaffirmed his innocence and remarked that he was simply ready to go public with his experience.
“For a long time, the media basically made [my family’s] lives crazy,” he acknowledged.
“Seeing that as a little kid, it’s just kind of chaotic nightmare. It’s the 20th anniversary, and apparently still a lot of attention around it. [I just wanted] to honor her memory by doing this [interview].”
JonBenet and Burke Ramsey’s mother, Patsy Ramsey, succumbed to ovarian cancer in 2006. Their father, John Bennett Ramsey, remarried in 2011. JonBenet’s murder is still unsolved. CBS has yet to respond to either suit.
[Featured Image from CBS/Yahoo! TV]