Author and former prosecutor Linda Fairstein has been dropped from her publisher due to continuing fallout of her role in the wrongful conviction of five Black and Latino teenagers known as the “The Central Park Five” in 1989.
The announcement came June 7th when Dutton publishing spokeswoman Amanda Walker confirmed to media outlets that Dutton and Fairstein had “terminated their relationship.” The publisher declined to comment further.
Before losing her book deal, Fairstein had already resigned from at least two nonprofit boards as backlash intensified and a #CancelLindaFairstein hashtag spread across social media.
Fairstein, who is now the author of 16 New York Times bestselling crime novels, was the chief of the Manhattan district attorney’s sex crimes unit during the 1989 trial. She could not be reached for comment.
Interest and scrutiny to the Central Park Five Case renewed following the release of Ana DuVernay’s Netflix miniseries “When They See Us” on May 31. The series dramatized the events and questionable conduct of the prosecution team that Fairstein oversaw, which eventually led to the wrongful conviction of Korey Wise, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, and Yusef Salaam for the rape and murder of a white woman in central park.
Their case was overturned in 2002 after convicted serial rapist and murderer Matias Reyes confessed to committing the crime alone, with DNA confirming the connection. The five men were awarded a $41 million settlement by the city.
To this day, Fairstein denies that The Central Park Five was coerced in their confessions and continues to defend the conduct of the authorities on the case.