A Florida court judge ruled today that the deposition will be televised. Well actually, video taped. According to reports today from the Orlando Sentinel, Federal Magistrate Gary R. Jones denied the motion by lawyers for Court TV host Nancy Grace to stop her deposition testimony in a wrongful death suit from being taped. Ironic? That is exactly the word used by the plaintiffs' attorney to sum up the whole episode.
The current suit stems from a Sept. 7, 2006, interview Grace did with Melinda Duckett, the mother of a missing Florida toddler. Grace, a former prosecutor, is not known for an understated approach to her victims- make that guests on her show, but denies her handling of Duckett's interview could have caused her to kill herself, as she did right before the show aired.
Duckett's family filed suit against Grace for intentional infliction of emotional distress which they claim lead to the death of the young woman. Grace fired back on the morning shows soon after, saying that in her opinion, the young mother killed herself out of guilt and in any case, was known to be suicidal.
When the date for her deposition in the case approached, the veteran of years of TV shows filed a motion to prohibit the testimony from being taped citing the "annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, and undue harm should the videotape be released prior to trial ..., ." Much like doctors who often make notoriously bad patients, this media maven is clearly not comfortable being in a spotlight not under her control.
The judge has allowed the depo to be taped as it may help to preserve testimony that could be needed at trial. Both parties have agreed to the protective order covering the tape and will not release it. Witnesses for Duckett have not objected to the taping of their own testimony.
Grace begins her testimony on Thursday, in Atlanta. Break a leg, Nancy.