Linda Fairstein sues Netflix for portrayal in Central Park Five film

Former Manhattan prosecutor Linda Fairstein is suing Netflix for portraying her as a “villain” in the Central Park Five-inspired series “When They See Us,” according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

“The film series was deliberately calculated to create one, clear and unmistakable villain to be targeted for hatred and vilification for what happened to The Five,” the papers allege, which resulted in “the false and defamatory portrayal of Ms. Fairstein.”

The show centers on the trials and wrongful convictions of Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise for the 1989 rape of Central Park jogger Trisha Meili.

The five teens were imprisoned and had their convictions overturned in 2002 after another man confessed.

During the teens’ prosecutions, Fairstein was the head of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Sex Crimes Unit while the case’s lead prosecutor was Elizabeth Lederer.

Fairstein, who is played by disgraced actress Felicity Huffman, alleges in the suit filed against Netflix and the show’s producer, Ava DuVernay, that she was falsely portrayed as the mastermind of the DA’s case.

She insists in the papers filed in Florida federal court that she “was neither the lead prosecutor nor did she play any role in the courtroom litigation, other than as a witness.”

The series inaccurately depicts Fairstein as interrogating unaccompanied minors, calling for a roundup of “young, black” “thugs,” and referring to blacks as “animals,” the suit charges.

DuVernary, the papers say, promoted the dramatized series as a true account of events and called Fairstein an “‘unrepentant liar’” who deserved all the ‘rage and hate and consequences that is coming her way.’”

As a result, Fairstein has received deaths, wrote attorney Edward Cheffy.

The Central Park Five sued the city, the DA’s office and the NYPD and eventually settled for $41 million in 2014.

“There has been no finding of wrongdoing or unprofessional behavior by any of the prosecutors involved,” said DA Cy Vance Jr. after the settlement was announced. Vance didn’t take office until 2010.

Fairstein faced major backlash after the series aired in May 2019. She was dropped by her book publisher and had to step down from several prestigious nonprofit positions.

The former prosecutor previously told The Post in an exclusive interview that she was forced to act due to the “mob-mentality reaction” to the Netflix series.

“Ms. Fairstein’s storied reputation as a career prosecutor who pioneered the fight to gain access in courts for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse has also been sullied if not destroyed,” the suit alleges.

A Netflix spokesperson didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

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