DENVER (CN) - TV personality Nancy Grace defamed a man by claiming he left "a textbook serial killer's calling card" at a woman's home, though he was nowhere near the place, the man claims in court.
Benjamin Seibert sued Nancy Grace, Turner Broadcasting Systems and Crime Stoppers, on Monday in Denver County Court. He seeks punitive damages for defamation, privacy invasion and outrage.
Grace is known for her appearances on cable TV as a legal expert and for her show "Nancy Grace" on Turner Broadcasting's Headline News Channel.
Seibert claims that Grace defamed him on the air after a January incident that led police to suspect for two days that he may have broken into a woman's home.
"On January 29, 2014, a mother in Denver put her children to bed and returned to her kitchen. There she found a picture of an unidentified man on her cell phone. She assumed that the picture was a 'selfie' taken by an intruder and called police," the complaint states.
"Denver Crime Stoppers Inc. posted the picture and reported that the man invaded the woman's home. Police investigated and determined that the photograph was a Facebook photo of Ben Seibert, not a selfie.
"Mr. Seibert was in California, there was no home invasion and Mr. Seibert was completely innocent. However, defendant Nancy Grace broadcasted Mr. Seibert's photograph full-screen, on national television and told the public that he invaded the family's home, took a selfie and 'this is a textbook serial killer's calling card.'"
Seibert claims he served Grace a cease-and-desist letter twice but she has not done anything to make the error right.
He claims that Grace's own viewers tried to correct her on her Facebook page, but even that did not fix the problem.
He claims that Grace has been sued repeatedly on defamation claims, including one that was settled just a week before Seibert sued.
Seibert is represented by John Pineau, of Boulder.
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