After helping to wrongfully convict the Central Park Five profiled in Netflix’s “When They See Us,” a miniseries directed by Ava DuVernay, Linda Fairstein has been dropped by her publisher, Dutton.
Fairstein was the top Manhattan sexual crimes prosecutor in the 1989 case where five Black and Latino teens were wrongfully charged in the rape and beating of a white female jogger in New York City.
The teens’ confessions were coerced and their convictions were overturned in 2002 after a convicted murderer and serial rapist Matias Reyes confessed to committing the crime alone and DNA linked him to it.
Fairstein observed the boys’ 1989 interrogation which was conducted by another prosecutor and police. She didn’t personally try the case, but she was a key character in “When They See Us.”
Fairstein went from prosecutor to best-selling crime novelist. But karma is finally catching up to her.
According to The Guardian, a Dutton spokeswoman confirmed that it had “terminated its relationship” with Fairfield. Fairstein also had to resign from at least two not-for-profit boards as backlash intensified and a #CancelLindaFairstein movement spread on social media.
Last year, the Mystery Writers of America made the rare choice of withdrawing a lifetime achievement after other authors protested, citing Fairstein’s role in the Central Park racially divisive case.
Despite the evidence that the innocent boys were racially profiled and targeted, Fairstein has denied the teens were coerced and has defended authorities’ conduct in the case. The city of New York has never admitted any wrongdoing, even though the teens spent years in jail.