Family of deceased mother of missing boy sues CNN's Nancy Grace, says grilling led to suicide

Tuesday, November 21st 2006, 4:46 pm
By: News On 6

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Relatives of a mother who committed suicide after CNN's Nancy Grace aggressively questioned her about the disappearance of her son sued the network and the talk-show host Tuesday, accusing Grace of pushing the woman over the edge.

Melinda Duckett shot herself to death on September 8th, one day after taping a segment on Grace's CNN Headline News show in which Grace interrogated Duckett about her whereabouts on the August day that 2-year-old Trenton Duckett was reported missing. The network aired the segment after Melinda Duckett's death.

Investigators have since named Melinda Duckett as the prime suspect in his disappearance.

Jay Paul Deratany, the attorney for Duckett's estate, said that Grace encouraged Duckett to appear on her show by saying the goal was to draw public attention to help find the boy.

``It's not just about the questioning. It's about the misrepresentation with the knowledge that she was emotionally distraught,'' Deratany said. The attorney said Grace improperly took on the role of a law enforcement officer.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

CNN Headline News said in a statement: ``We stand by Nancy Grace and fully support her, as we have from the beginning of this matter.''