Burke Ramsey Files $150 Million Defamation Lawsuit Over CBS Documentary Positing He Killed Sister JonBenét
Ramsey, 29, filed the defamation suit on Thursday in Wayne County, Michigan, against Dr. Werner Spitz to the tune of $150 million. The suit alleges that Spitz’s claims in the two-part The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey “attacked and permanently harmed the reputation of [Ramsey],” according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.
“Defendant Spitz is a publicity seeker with a history of interjecting himself in high profile cases in an effort to make money, exaggerate his resume and claim a level of expertise that he does not possess or deserve,” the filing states.
In the docuseries, which aired last month, a panel of investigators developed a theory of the killing of the 6-year-old beauty pageant queen, who was found dead in the basement of her family’s home in Boulder, Colorado, in December 1996.
On the show, the team — which included Spitz, a criminal behavioral analyst, a forensic scientist, and a former FBI profiler and a pathologist theorize that Burke accidentally killed his sister.
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“The accusations by Werner Spitz against this young man are outrageous,” attorney L. Lin Wood tells PEOPLE. “Such false accusations for self-promotion and profit have no place in an orderly and just society. This lawsuit is the first step to holding Spitz fully accountable for his heinous wrongdoing.”
Spitz did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.
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Though the Ramsey family long faced suspicion, including from police, in JonBenét’s death, they have never been charged and have always maintained their innocence.
In 2008, then-District Attorney Mary Lacy wrote a letter to father John Ramsey saying that DNA evidence cleared him, wife Patsy Ramsey and Burke. (Lacy’s letter was criticized by some in law enforcement.)
Lawyer: Burke Ramsey Plans to Sue CBS
The filing alleges that Spitz held a grudge against the Ramsey’s “because he believes the Ramsey family shut him out of the investigation — thereby frustrating his pursuit of self-promotion.”
Ramsey is requesting compensatory damages “in an amount not less than” $50 million and punitive damages of no less than $100 million.
Last month, Wood told PEOPLE that he planned to sue CBS on behalf of Ramsey as a result of the show, and the court filing states that he still plans to do just that.
“The CBS docuseries and Defendant Spitz’ participation in it will be the subject of separate defamation litigation to be filed in the near future in Los Angeles, California,” according to the documents.
But network officials vowed not to back down, saying in a previous statement to PEOPLE, “CBS stands by the broadcast and will do so in court.”