Crime Show Threatens Her Life, Woman Says
AUSTIN, Texas (CN) - A woman says she fears for her life after A&E's crime show "The First 48" inaccurately identified her as "'Lady,' a prostitute, witness, and possible party to the murder[which is] the subject of the episode." The Waco resident says that despite "multiple requests" from her family and her attorneys to stop broadcasting the episode, "A&E has continued to air the episode," which is "available for public viewing on the defendant's website at any time."
The episode, which was originally broadcast on Nov. 1, 2007, "implied that Lady engaged in sexual activity with the murder victim immediately before the murder and might have witnessed the murder," according to Dorothy Isabel's federal complaint.
A&E presents "The First 48" as a true-crime show, that "takes viewers behind the scenes of real-life investigations as it follows homicide detectives in the critical first 48 hours of murder investigations, giving viewers unprecedented access to crime scenes, interrogations and forensic processing," the complaint states, attributing the quote to the A&E website, as visited on Sept. 30.
In the episode in question, "Lady is brought in and interviewed by detectives on air, but her face is blurred out," the complaint states. "Later, a photograph mug shot is shown and identified as Lady. The person in the photograph is in fact Ms. Isabel, taken several years prior to the taping of this episode. After being interviewed Lady leads the detectives to a suspect who is a known gang member. The episode suggests that Lady's help was the key to the suspect's conviction."
The episode, No. 86, "involves a murder that took place in Dallas, Texas," the complaint states. "Ms. Isabel is from Dallas and currently all of her relatives reside in Dallas. The representation that Ms. Isabel had any involvement with the subject murder and/or apprehension of the murderer places her in a very dangerous situation; specifically, she fears she has become a gang target. At this time, Ms. Isabel is not able to return to Dallas or visit her family due to safety concerns."
Isabel seeks punitive damages for invasion of privacy and libel.
She wants her photograph removed from the episode, and A&E ordered to "contact and notify any and all Internet business providers to terminate direct links to the subject episode." She also damages for pain and suffering and mental anguish.
She is represented by Vic Feazell of Austin.