A retired sheriff’s detective sued Netflix for defamation on Monday, alleging that the hit series “Making a Murderer” falsely suggested that he planted evidence to frame a murder suspect.
Andrew Colborn filed suit in Manitowoc County Circuit Court in Wisconsin, alleging that he had been subject to “worldwide ridicule, contempt and disdain” since the docuseries debuted in December 2015.
“His reputation and that of Manitowoc County, itself, has been severely and unjustly defamed,” Colborn’s attorney, Michael Griesbach, said in a press release. “He is filing this lawsuit to set the record straight and to restore his good name.”
Netflix declined to comment. Also named as defendants in the suit are “Making a Murderer” directors Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, Netflix executives Lisa Nishimura and Adam Del Deo, and editor Mary Manhardt.
The suit alleges that the filmmakers distorted events, and omitted key facts, in order to argue that Colborn and others framed Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey for murder. Griesbach, Colborn’s attorney, is a veteran prosecutor in Manitowoc who published a book in 2016 entitled “Indefensible,” which served as a rebuttal to the Netflix series. Griesbach was familiar with the case because he had previously written another book, “The Innocent Killer,” about Avery’s earlier wrongful conviction for sexual assault.
The complaint alleges that the filmmakers went well beyond merely expressing an opinion about the case, and that they manipulated trial testimony to lead viewers to false conclusions.