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Wrongful Death Suit Against Nancy Grace Is Settled

Nov 9, 2010 – 11:19 AM
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Mara Gay

Mara Gay Contributor

(Nov. 9) -- The family of a Florida woman who killed herself after a damaging interview with CNN's Nancy Grace dropped a wrongful death lawsuit against the talk show host and the cable network as part of a $200,000 settlement.

Melinda Duckett shot herself Sept. 8, 2006, the day after Grace questioned her involvement in the disappearance of her 2-year-old son, Trenton. Duckett's family accused Grace of inflicting emotional distress on their 21-year-old daughter.
Combo of photos showing Melinda Duckett, left, and Nancy Grace
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The family of Melinda Duckett, left, has dropped a lawsuit against talk show host Nancy Grace right. Duckett killed herself after Grace questioned her involvement in the disappearance of her 2-year-old son during an interview on CNN.

Lawyers for Duckett's family announced that they had dropped the four-year suit, filed in Ocala, Fla., voluntarily and apologized to Grace and her network. "After four years of litigation and extensive discovery, the parties 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, as alleged in the lawsuit," attorney Jay Paul Deratany said in a statement.

The settlement calls for Grace to establish a $200,000 trust fund for Trenton, if he is found alive by his 13th birthday. Otherwise, the money will go to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

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Trenton disappeared Aug. 26, 2006. In a phone interview, Grace grilled the boy's mother about why she had refused to take a polygraph test and where she had been on the day her son vanished. "Where were you? Why aren't you telling us where you were that day? You were the last person to be seen with him," Grace asked Duckett during the interview, according to CBS.

Duckett was named the prime suspect in the investigation, The Associated Press said. Duckett's grandmother, Nancy Eubank, said the settlement didn't provide her with any sense of closure.

"I wish that Nancy Grace would be taken off the air, totally and completely, because she just destroys people," she told the Ocala Star Banner.

Representatives of the "Nancy Grace" show did not immediately return a call for comment today.
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