CNN aired The Hunting Ground — a controversial documentary about campus sexual assaults — despite the threat of legal action.
A lawyer for Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston threatened to sue CNN if it aired the film on Sunday night. It ran as scheduled.
In the film, Erica Kinsman accuses Winston of committing sexual assault during his time on the football team at Florida State University, a claim his lawyer says is defamatory.
In a letter to CNN first obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, lawyer John Boudet says the film "manipulates, misstates or simply omits facts to present a false narrative":
"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."
The documentary, which was shown at the Sundance Film Festival, argues women are at serious risk of sexual assault on college campuses and many college administrators have repeatedly tried to sweep the problem under the rug to avoid public relations problems.