Murdaugh's Son Sues Netflix for 'False Accusations'

Buster Murdaugh says he had nothing to do with classmate's death
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2024 2:30 AM CDT
Murdaugh's Son Sues Netflix for Defamation
Buster Murdaugh, the son of Alex Murdaugh, listens as Alex Murdaugh's verdict is read at the Colleton County Courthouse in Walterboro, S.C., Thursday, March 2, 2023.   (Joshua Boucher/The State via AP, Pool)

Six years before the murders of Alex Murdaugh's wife and the younger of their two sons—murders of which Murdaugh himself was ultimately convicted—a 19-year-old was found dead on a remote road not far from the Murdaugh family's South Carolina estate, reportedly the victim of a hit-and-run accident. The teen, Stephen Smith, was a former classmate of Murdaugh's older son, Buster, and in the wake of the double Murdaugh family murder, his death has been getting renewed attention. Now, Buster Murdaugh is suing Netflix and a number of other companies and media outlets for defamation, claiming they have falsely implicated him in Smith's death, People reports.

Buster Murdaugh says he was defamed in the Netflix streaming series Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, and his lawsuit notes that during a reenactment of Smith's death in the series, "a young man with red hair carrying a baseball bat" is shown. Buster Murdaugh "has red hair, and it is readily ascertainable from the content of the series that the creators were depicting the Plaintiff as the murderer of Stephen Smith," the suit says, per NBC News. Other documentaries and the companies behind them were also named in the suit. Smith's death is being investigated as a homicide after the case was reopened in 2021. (More Stephen Smith stories.)

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