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Posts Tagged ‘Melinda Duckett’

Harvard Prof Finds Nancy Grace’s ‘Highly Accusatory Tone’ Led to Florida Woman’s Suicide

A Harvard professor says HLN host Nancy Grace‘s relentless questioning of a Florida mother contributed to the woman’s suicide three years ago.

In the days after two-year-old Trenton Duckett went missing in August of 2006, Grace began extensive coverage of the case, eventually speaking by phone to the boy’s mother, Melinda Duckett, who is, to date, the only suspect in his disappearance. The boy has never been found.

Dr. Harold Bursztajn, a clinical professor of psychiatry, wrote in a filing last week that Grace “struck a highly accusatory tone” in the interview.

“Her apparently unanticipated public humiliation on the nationally televised program in question was a substantial contributing cause of her suicide,” Dr. Bursztajn wrote.

21-year-old Duckett shot herself in the head the day after the Grace interview. A suicide note was later found.

The findings from Dr. Bursztajn are contained in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Duckett’s family.

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Lawsuit Against Nancy Grace Moves Forward

Grace_Duckett_8.1.jpgA federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit that claims Headline News host Nancy Grace badgered the mother of a missing toddler to the point of suicide.

The Associated Press reports, U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges denied CNN’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit yesterday. The network had argued the wrongful death lawsuit brought by Melinda Duckett‘s family would “severely chill” journalists’ coverage of missing-persons cases.

Duckett was on Grace’s show after her son Trenton went missing from her apartment in August 2006. Grace questioned the woman, accusing her of hiding something because Duckett did not take a lie-detector test and answered vaguely regarding her whereabouts. Duckett fatally shot herself before the network aired the pre-taped interview.

The family claims Grace’s intense questioning caused severe emotional distress that led to the suicide. Police have said Duckett is the only suspect in her son’s disappearance.

Interstingly, Grace has been intensely covering a similar story this week. It’s the missing persons case involving another Florida toddler: 2-year-old Caylee Anthony whose mother, Casey is behind bars on unrelated charges. The caption on Grace’s Webpage right now is ‘Caylee’s mom still mum about her daughter’s whereabouts.’