Netflix — and the producers behind the streaming service’s hit original documentary series Making A Murderer — are now facing a defamation lawsuit. One of the series’ subjects, retired Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Detective Andrew Colborn, filed suit on Monday against Netflix and filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos. The suit was filed at the Manitowoc County circuit court, according to Digital Spy.
Colborn had been a part of the team that convicted Steven Avery for the murder of Teresa Halbach in 2005. Making a Murderer, which was filmed over the course of 10 years and now has two seasons, followed the arrest, conviction, and prosecution of Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey. The series questioned the state’s evidence against the two men — and suggested that they may have been wrongfully accused.
Colborn claims that the series falsely accused him of framing Avery and Dassey by planting evidence. He said that the filmmakers deliberately left out key information and distorted the events to suggest Colborn had a hand in framing the convicted men.
“Mr. Colborn has been subject to worldwide ridicule, contempt, and disdain since the release of Making a Murderer… His reputation and that of Manitowoc County, itself, has been severely and unjustly defamed,” said a letter accompanying the filing, per Variety. “He is filing this lawsuit to set the record straight and to restore his good name.”
The letter went on to say that Making A Murderer has “added another layer of tragedy to what was already a painful episode for our community.”
The lawsuit states that neither Colborn, nor any other officer, planted evidence to frame Avery or Dassey for Halbach’s murder.
“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 filing stated.
The lawsuit cites that the filmmakers acted with actual malice against Colborn in order to increase the film’s success and profits.
Dassey and Avery are still behind bars for the crime, but a debate continues over their innocence or guilt.
The series poses a theory that law enforcement in Manitowoc County held a grudge against Avery, after the man was released from prison following a sexual assault charge that was disproven by DNA testing, according to the Wrap.
Netflix has declined to comment on the matter. Ricciardi and Demos have not yet responded to the suit.