Central Park Five Prosecutor Linda Fairstein Dismisses Accuracy of When They See Us: ‘It’s a Basket of Lies’

Illustration for article titled Central Park Five Prosecutor Linda Fairstein Dismisses Accuracy of When They See Us: ‘It’s a Basket of Lies’
Photo: Paul Hawthorne (Getty Images)

Former prosecutor Linda Fairstein is experiencing karma having a bad week.

Since the release of Netflix’s haunting masterpiece When They See Us, the world has been provided with explicit details of the abhorrent lengths that Fairstein went to to ruin the lives of five innocent black and brown teenagers.


As a result, social media has been engulfed with outrage as the hashtag #cancellindafairstein has become ground zero for users to voice their disgust at the cruelty of her actions. Additionally, a petition surfaced calling for her book publisher to drop her and for retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Nobles to remove her best-selling novels from their shelves and online stores. Raymond Santana—who was eventually exonerated despite her best efforts to bury him alive—co-signed the boycott, telling TMZ, “Even if it’s 30 years later, she has to pay for her crime.”

Since then, Fairstein has been forced to resign from Vassar College’s board of trustees after Vassar students collected over 13,000 signatures in two days calling for her removal, as well as step down from Safe Horizon, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to victims of domestic abuse.

While everyone and their momma has something to say about her nefarious ass, like any good coward, the 72-year-old vanished into thin air—erasing her social media accounts and presumably hiding behind the millions of dollars she made on the backs of innocent black and brown children.

Until now.

Now considered one of the most vile human beings in the history of Western Civilization, Fairstein shared her thoughts on When They See Us with the Daily Beast, dismissing it as “a basket of lies”—which requires an incredible degree of unmitigated gall considering filmmaker Ava Duvernay recently revealed that Fairstein attempted to negotiate her involvement—including script approval—in the miniseries. Fairstein maintains those negotiations never happened.


Here’s another juicy tidbit from the Daily Beast’s interview:

The series dramatizes Fairstein—who is played by real-life college-admissions cheating-scandal felon Felicity Huffman—as the prime mover behind the police investigation and persecution of the five teens.

Fairstein said that presents “a totally and completely untrue picture of events and my participation,” including “putting words in my mouth that I never said in Oliver Stone fashion”—such as ordering the cops to conduct an indiscriminate sweep of Harlem for “black males” and “thugs.” She said DuVernay erred in showing her dismissing DNA evidence that exonerated the five, and placing her at times, dates, and locations where she had never appeared.


Fairstein also maintains that in what she feels is essentially a four-hour smear campaign, the series portrays a “fundamental misrepresentation” of how the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office interacts with police investigators.

“[Ava DuVernay]’s behind it,” Fairstein said. “Her lies are behind it all.”

The irony of a woman who coerced five innocent children to confess to a crime they never committed openly questioning the character of any other living soul isn’t lost on me, but it’s safe to say that karma needs to hurry the hell up already. Just don’t expect Penguin Random House, Simon & Shuster or Dutton to have a hand in her inevitable downfall.


“My publisher is fantastic,” she said.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for y'all to stop putting sugar in grits.



Dear Linda:

As a black man who was born and raised in NYC and still calls it home I am writing this with as much anger and joy as I possibly can muster. The anger comes from the fact that you, Donald Trump, The NYPD, Rudy Guliani and others all made your fortunes off the humiliation and targeting of black and brown men. The anger comes from the full page ad that fat repugnant piece of shit was allowed to put in The NY Times despite no trial being held. The anger comes from the fact that you made it your life’s mission to harm five innocent teenagers based on a pile of lies and omitted and mishandled evidence. The anger comes from the fact that even after their release and exoneration legally you, Trump, Mike Bloomberg, Bernard Kerik and others refused to accept your role in this and sought to dismiss the result and admit wrongdoing. While it is hard to find any joy in this situation I and other black teenagers that were traumatized and lived in fear during the late 80's and early 90's can find in this fact, your life as a public figure is fucking over. Trump knows nothing of the word shame so he can never be silenced but your pitiful sorry ass has some human qualities so you are beginning to see and feel the weight of your lies and actions. Yes you have millions in the bank, you have lived a comfortable life on the backs of these five men, who’s childhood you helped steal, but you will never know a moments peace ever again. You can never set foot in public and not be known as a monster. Yeah you may get a pat on the back from some parts of society but know as this country becomes more diverse you and other that think and act like you will never again be allowed to run amok unchecked. Oh one final thing, if you think Mr. DuVernay is lying, be warned. Black women keep receipts like no other. I strongly suggest you retract those comments you made to The Daily Beast before she puts your shit in the street for us to see. Maybe she will grant you the mercy you didn’t show to others. Nah knowing your arrogant ass you think she won’t. Let her have it Ava, for all of us


Fight The Power