In a letter obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Winston’s lawyer writes:
“We are writing to formally caution CNN that the portions of the film The Hunting Ground pertaining to Mr. Winston are false and defamatory to Mr. Winston. We urge CNN to reconsider the reckless decision to proceed with the broadcast of this deeply-flawed documentary in the face of the overwhelming evidence the film’s producers consciously and intentionally failed to adhere to any accepted journalistic standards.”
In 2013, while still the quarterback at Florida State University, Winston was accused of rape by fellow student Erica Kinsman. The Hunting Ground, directed by Kirby Dirk, features an interview with Kinsman who recounts both her attack and the heavily-criticized investigation. Though Kinsman filed a Title IX suit, FSU dismissed her claims and the state’s attorney declined to charge Winston with rape.
Earlier this year, Kinsman filed a lawsuit against Winston who, in turn, filed a counterclaim against her. THR notes that “The Hunting Ground has lurked in the background after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.”
Winston’s attorney alleges that the documentary “manipulates, misstates or simply omits facts to present a false narrative.” “If CNN decides to proceed with this broadcast, we will perhaps have the opportunity to test that legal proposition in a court of law,” the letter continues.
Florida State has also asked CNN not to air the film which has earned accolades from President Obama. Winston’s lawyer contends that the film is at odds with CNN’s “journalistic standards” since it does little to present the quarterback’s version of the story.
Winston, who now plays for Tampa Bay, has maintained his innocence.
Image via AP.