TV Host Nancy Grace Wants to Bar Video Cameras in Lawsuit

Melinda Ducketts estate to sue Nancy Grace

CNN's Nancy Grace makes her living interrogating guests under the white-hot glare of television cameras.

So it's ironic that the host of HLN's highest-rated show doesn't want video cameras to record her when she's questioned in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the estate of a former guest on the "Nancy Grace" show.

The estate of Melinda Duckett, the mother of missing 2-year-old Leesburg, Fla., boy Trenton Duckett, is suing Grace, accusing the legal commentator and her show of "intentional infliction of emotional distress" that led Duckett to commit suicide.

VIDEO: A suicide after an interview leaves CNNs Nancy Grace in the hot seat.
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Grace's attorneys, who also represent CNN in the lawsuit, filed an emergency motion in U.S. District Court in Ocala on Monday to bar cameras during Grace's scheduled deposition Thursday. The judge is expected to rule on the motion today.

By keeping video cameras out, Grace's lawyers argue they would avoid "annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, and undue harm should the videotape be released prior to trial for purposes unrelated to the litigation," according to the motion obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.

"It is indeed ironic," Kara Skarupo, one of the attorneys who represent Duckett's estate, her parents and sister, told ABCNews.com. "They allege we've been courting the media, which is completely ridiculous. The irony is she is out there on TV every day."

Skarupo said Grace's lawyers would like video cameras to be stricken entirely, but if the judge does allow her deposition to be recorded, they "want us to sign a blood pact that it won't get out."

A spokeswoman for CNN declined to comment on the matter.

Grace was a prosecutor for nearly a decade in the Atlanta-Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney's office on felony cases involving serial murder, serial rape, serial child molestation, and arson.

Duckett's parents, Bethann and William Eubank, along with her aunt Kathleen Calvert, filed a lawsuit against Grace two months after Melinda's Sept. 7, 2006 appearance on the "Nancy Grace" show.

During Grace's interview, which was taped with Duckett on the phone, the talk show host pounded her desk and demanded, "Where were you? Why aren't you telling us where you were that day?"

The following day, Duckett shot herself in the head just hours before her interview with Grace was broadcast on HLN.

Investigators had also questioned the 21-year-old mother about her missing son. The boy has never been found.

Grace was unapologetic when she appeared on "Good Morning America" a week after Duckett's suicide.

"If anything, I would suggest that guilt made her commit suicide," Grace told ABC News' Chris Cuomo. "To suggest that a 15- or 20-minute interview can cause someone to commit suicide is focusing on the wrong thing."

Duckett's family says otherwise. "We're alleging that Grace caused her death and caused emotional distress for her family," Skarupo said. "It's a hard thing to prove but we think it's important. They lost a daughter unnecessarily."

Grace defended her hard-line stance to GMA.

"Any interview followed hours and hours of police interrogation of Melinda Duckett. Unfortunately, Melinda Duckett had attempted suicide in the past," she said.

"While I sympathize with her family and know as a first-hand victim of crime myself, you look for somebody to blame, anybody," she said at the time. "And today the family is blaming me. … But I would suggest their efforts go toward finding this baby."

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