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Convicted Killer Alex Murdaugh’s Son to Sue Netflix, Warner Bros. for Linking Him to Gay Classmate’s Death: Report

Buster Murdaugh to Sue Netflix, Warner Bros. Over Documentaries
Source: MEGA; GoFundMe

Since the Murdaugh murders, new light has been put on the death of Stephen Smith (right), with some reports linking Buster Murdaugh (left) to the death, authorities say.

Jun. 18 2024, Published 12:13 p.m. ET

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The only surviving son of convicted double murderer Alex Murdaugh is suing multiple parties over documentaries the studios produced, claiming they connect him to the murder of his former classmate, a new report alleges.

Buster Murdaugh, 30, reportedly is taking legal action against two major studios and several media outlets for damaging his reputation, claiming the various films and stories written about the case have linked him to the killing of 19-year-old Stephen Smith.

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An attorney for Smith’s family said that Murdaugh trying to suppress information will only have the opposite effect and leave him exposed, Daily Mail reported.

In 2015, Smith, who was openly gay, was found dead on a road near the Murdaugh estate in South Carolina. Police initially ruled his death a hit and run, but interest in the Murdaugh case and rumors that Smith and Buster Murdaugh allegedly may have had a sexual relationship led to Smith’s case being reopened in June 2021, police said.

On March 23, 2023, officials declared the teenager's death a homicide and his mother launched a GoFundMe to pay for the exhumation of Smith's body.

Buster Murdaugh has previously adamantly denied reports linking him to Smith’s death, slamming them as “vicious rumors.” In the lawsuit, he points out there are no formal allegations against him.

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In a court filing obtained by Daily Mail, the suit cites the films Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal on Netflix; Low Country: The Murdaugh Dynasty, distributed by Warner Bros.; and Murdaugh Murders: Deadly Dynasty, on Discovery+. Buster Murdaugh is also suing Michael DeWitt Jr., editor of The Hampton County Guardian, a local newspaper.

The court filing alleges various scenes appear to link Buster to Smith’s case and these “false statements were published to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of viewers who watched the show.”

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Despite the allegations, Eric Bland, an attorney for the Smith family, told The Daily Beast, “I think the defendants will love this lawsuit because it will make a part three of any documentary.”

Bland added that Buster is “exposing himself” and the attorney is “very interested” in what information he may be able to gain about Buster Murdaugh as a result.

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“I think this lawsuit will backfire,” he said. “I talked to a number of attorneys who were asked to take on his lawsuit and they passed. This will only bring a spotlight to Stephen's investigation.”

Murdaugh is suing for actual damages and punitive damages because of the “reckless conduct of the defendants in falsely accusing him of being involved in the murder of Stephen Smith,” WCIV reported, citing the lawsuit.

As Front Page Detectives previously reported, a jury found Buster Murdaugh's father, Alex Murdaugh, guilty of brutally murdering his wife Maggie, 52, and younger son Paul, 22, at the family’s estate in South Carolina on the night of June 7, 2021. He is currently serving two consecutive life sentences.

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