CNN’s Nancy Grace Settles Suicide Lawsuit with Duckett Estate, #Wrongful Death

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This bit of legal news reported by is very interesting to me, particularly as a member of the press. We all know Nancy Grace’s in your face aggressive style of interviews. I don’t think it is necessarily a bad thing. There is a time for such approach.

Grace used such aggression in interviewing Melinda Duckett a 21year old whose toddler had gone missing. The next day after Duckett’s appearance on the show, she committed suicide. Who is liable for her death? Duckett’s Estate and particularly the mother felt Grace was. They sued Grace and CNN.

Both parties have now come to a resolution through settlement. I’d be interested in your thoughts on this fascinating suit. I particularly welcome the thoughts of other legal counsels. See excerpt below.

“CNN talk show host Nancy Grace has reached a settlement with the estate of Melinda Duckett to create a $200,000 trust dedicated to locating Duckett’s missing toddler, Trenton.

In this undated photo provided by the Leesburg Police Department, a photo of Melinda and Trenton Duckett is shown. Detectives on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2007 released photos of toys, birthday cards, photos and children’s food they believe Melinda Duckett threw in the trash after reporting Trenton missing. Melinda Duckett, who killed herself on Sept. 8, is the only suspect in the toddler’s disappearance, Rockefeller said.
The Associated Press

The settlement, which still must be approved by a federal judge in Ocala, was outlined in a joint petition filed with the court Friday, a month before the start of a scheduled jury trial.

Duckett’s adoptive parents sued Grace in a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming the television host’s aggressive interview of the young mother in 2006 led the 21-year-old to take her own life the next day.

In a statement Monday, lawyers for plaintiffs Bethann and William Eubank, residents of New York, indicated the parties in the lawsuit “now agree that Nancy Grace, the producers of her program, and CNN engaged in no intentional wrongdoing in the course of dedicating a program to finding the missing toddler. . .” has the full story.

Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her firm’s fashion and entertainment law practice areas. Ms. Uduak has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts. She has also handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients including network television and licensing deals. Her work and contributions to the creative industry has been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA: ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also the author of Fashionentlaw™ and also has over two decades combined hands on industry experience in the creative industry which includes modeling, retail, fashion production, public relations, digital media, journalism and publishing. For further inquiries or if you are seeking legal representation, please email ( You may also follow her on twitter at @uduaklaw


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