Melinda Duckett’s family has voluntarily dismissed a federal suit against CNN and Nancy Grace accusing them of contributing to Duckett’s suicide in 2006 following aggressive questioning by Grace.
In return, CNN has agreed to create a $200,000 trust to help locating Duckett’s missing toddler Trenton, who disappeared four years ago at the age of two. If Trenton is found before the age of 13, he will be able to get the remaining proceeds from the trust at the age of 18. To date, he has not been found.
According to the Ocala Fla., newspaper:
The settlement, which still must be approved by a federal judge in Ocala, was outlined in a joint petition filed with the court Friday, a month before the start of a scheduled jury trial.
The funds, according to the agreement, will be immediately transferred to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children if Trenton is not found by his 13th birthday, or if he is found but is not alive.
Here’s part of the written apology by the Ducketts:
The parties have resolved their differences and dismissal papers were filed with the federal court in Ocala Florida. After four years of litigation and
extensive discovery, the parties now agree that Nancy Grace, the producers of her program, and CNN engaged in no intentional wrongdoing in the course of dedicating a program to finding the missing toddler, as alleged in the lawsuit. Throughout the entirety of the litigation process all parties to the action acted in good faith and in the best interests of their clients. An apology has been extended to CNN and Nancy Grace to the extent that any suggestion has been made that anyone deliberately caused the family distress or Melinda Duckett’s suicide.
Grace at the time regarded Duckett with suspicion.
“Where were you?” she asked on her show. “Why aren’t you telling us where you were that day?”
Duckett the next day took a shotgun and killed herself.