Brother of JonBenet Ramsey sues CBS for $750 million over documentary

DENVER (Reuters) - The brother of slain Colorado child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey has filed a $750 million defamation lawsuit against CBS Corp over a documentary aired by the network theorizing that he killed his little sister, court documents showed on Wednesday.

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Burke Ramsey has been "exposed to public hatred, contempt and ridicule" over the four-hour show that was broadcast in September in two parts, according to the complaint filed in a state court in Michigan, where he lives. The program aired amid a flurry of media accounts ahead of the 20th anniversary of the girl's death.

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JonBenet Ramsey murder case
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JonBenet Ramsey murder case
289830 05: The site where 6 year old Jonbenet Ramsey was killed in Boulder, Colorado, 1996. (Photo by Karl Gehring/Liaison)
Aug. 17, 2006 - JONBENET RAMSEY.SUPPLIED BY JONBENETRAMSEYRETRO(Credit Image: © Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com)
318902 01: People light candles at the murder site of 6 year old Jonbenet Ramsey in Boulder, Colorado, December 1997. (Photo by Karl Gehring/Liaison)
BOULDER, CO - MAY 01: John and Patsy Ramsey, the parents of JonBenet Ramsey, meet with a small selected group of the local Colorado media after four months of silence in Boulder, Colorado on May 1, 1997. Their 6-year-old daughter was found dead on Christmas night 1996. (Photo By Helen H. Richardson/ The Denver Post)
BOULDER, CO - MAY 01: John and Patsy Ramsey, the parents of JonBenet Ramsey, meet with a small selected group of the local Colorado media after four months of silence in Boulder, Colorado on May 1, 1997. Patsy holds up a reward sign for information leading to the arrest of their daughter's murderer. Their 6-year-old daughter was found dead on Christmas night 1996. (Photo By Helen H. Richardson/ The Denver Post)
BOULDER, CO - MAY 01: John and Patsy Ramsey, the parents of JonBenet Ramsey, meet with a small selected group of the local Colorado media after four months of silence in Boulder, Colorado on May 1, 1997. Their 6-year-old daughter was found dead on Christmas night 1996. (Photo By Helen H. Richardson/ The Denver Post)
8/27/1998 Colorado Jonbenet Ramsey House In Boulder. (Photo By Karl Gehring/Getty Images)
BOULDER, CO - MAY 01: John and Patsy Ramsey, the parents of JonBenet Ramsey, meet with a small selected group of the local Colorado media after four months of silence in Boulder, Colorado on May 1, 1997. Their 6-year-old daughter was found dead on Christmas night 1996. (Photo By Helen H. Richardson/ The Denver Post)
Murdered 6-yr-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey's image amblazoned on dozens of binders crammed w. investigators's reports for case which still unsolved after 6 months, in Sheriff's office (Photo by Ray Ng/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
ATLANTA - AUGUST 16: Lib Waters places a note on the grave of JonBenet Ramsey August 16, 2006 in Marietta, Georgia. A suspect in the murder of Ramsey, the 6-year-old beauty queen whose parents were under suspicion early on, has been arrested in Thailand. The note Waters left reads: 'Dearest Patsy, Justice has come for you + John. Rest in Peace. Your friend, Lib Waters.' (Photo by Barry Williams/Getty Images)
Bangkok, THAILAND: US teacher John Mark Karr (C), 41, flanked by Thai police, walks towards a van on his way to the airport from a detention center at the Thai Immigration Department in Bangkok, 20 August 2006. Thai authorities deported the US teacher arrested here over the 1996 killing of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey, amid serious doubts about his involvement in the brutal crime. Karr was arrested 16 August 2006 in connection with the slaying of six-year-old JonBenet, who was found strangled and beaten to death in the basement of her family's Colorado home on the day after Christmas 1996. AFP PHOTO/ Saeed KHAN (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - AUGUST 22: John Mark Karr, the suspect in the killing of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey, appears at an extradition hearing at the Los Angeles Superior Court August 22, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. Karr agreed to be extradited to Colorado to face charges of murder, kidnapping and sexual assault in the JonBenet Ramsey case. (Photo by Mario Anzuoni-Pool/Getty Images)
BOULDER, CO - AUGUST 28: Karen Salaz, spokesperson for the Colorado state court system, approaches the news media with copies of a release announcing that charges against John Mark Karr in connection with JonBenet Ramsey murder case were dropped August 28, 2006 in Boulder, Colorado. A DNA sample taken from Karr after he arrived in the U.S from Thailand where he was arrested last week did not match a sample taken at the murder scene. Ramsey is the six-year-old beauty queen found murdered in the basement of her Boulder, Colorado home the day after Christmas in 1996. Karr could still face unrelated child pornography charges in California. (Photo by Thomas Cooper/Getty Images)
Dec 26, 1997 - Marietta, Georgia, USA - JonBenet Ramsey grave on one year anniversary of her death. Former Little Miss Colorado JonBenet Patricia Ramsey (8/6/90-1996-12-25), was found strangled in the basement of her family's home in Boulder, Colorado, Thursday, Dec. 26, 1996. 
Marietta, GA -- JonBenet Ramsey would've turned twenty years old this week. The child beauty pageant star was mysteriously killed on Christmas, 1996 in Boulder, Colorado. She was six years old. Dozens of theories abound, but no one has ever been charged with her murder.
Aug 20, 2006; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Members of the news media gather at the arrival area of Los Angeles International Airport to interview passengers arriving from the same flight with John Mark Karr, the suspect in the killing of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006. 
John Mark Karr (C) is taken into a court room with his attorney Rob Amparan before his bail hearing in Santa Rosa, California, September 19, 2006. Karr, the schoolteacher who made worldwide headlines by confessing to one of America's most notorious unsolved crimes, the murder of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey, is now facing charges of five counts of possessing child pornography. REUTERS/John Burgess/Pool (UNITED STATES)
FILE - In this June 29, 2006, file photo, John Ramsey hugs his son, Burke, facing camera, at the graves of his wife, Patsy, and daughter JonBenet, during services for his wife at the St. James Episcopal Cemetery in Marietta, Ga. Burke Ramsey discussed his sister's death with TV's "Dr. Phil" in an interview broadcast on Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Ric Feld, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2000 file photo, John and Patsy Ramsey leave their attorney Lin Wood's offices during a break in the Ramsey's questioning by Boulder, Colo., authorities in Atlanta. CBS is getting in the true crime business by investigating the JonBenet Ramsey murder in an upcoming six-part docuseries, the network announced Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016. Their six-year-old daughter was found dead in her Colorado home on Dec. 26, 1996 after her parents reported her kidnapped. (AP Photo/Gregory E. Smith, File)
FILE - This Aug. 30, 2006, file photo, shows the exterior of the Boulder, Colo., home where JonBenet Ramsey was murdered in 1996. In his most extensive comments on the Ramsey case, retired Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner says officers botched the initial handling of the crime scene. Beckner participated in an "Ask Me Anything" session on the social-networking and news site Reddit Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, and told the Boulder Daily Camera on Tuesday, Feb. 24, that he didn't realize his comments would filter out to the rest of the world. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
Boulder County Chief Public Defender Seth Temin, driving, smiles as he leaves a courtroom in his car with Deputy Public Defender Yasmin Forouzandeh, after an extradition hearing for John Mark Karr at the Boulder County Justice Center in Boulder, Colo., Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2006. Karr was a school teacher who claimed to have been present when JonBenet Ramsey was killed in 1996. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Patsy Ramsey's sister Paulette Davis brushes off the grave of JonBenet Ramsey at the St. James Episcopal Cemetery in Marietta, Ga., Thursday, Aug. 17, 2006. A man arrested in Thailand is being held in connection with the slaying of JonBenet Ramsey, U.S. officials said Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2006. The girl was found beaten and strangled in the basement of the family's home in Boulder, Colo., on Dec. 26, 1996. (AP Photo/Wilford A. Harewood)
Attendees pay their respects at the graves of Patsy Ramsey, and daughter, JonBenet, during services for Patsy Ramsey at the St. James Episcopal Cemetery in Marietta, Ga., Thursday, June 29, 2006. Patsy Ramsey died Saturday after a long battle with ovarian cancer. (AP Photo/Ric Feld)
Candles surround a portrait of JonBenet Ramsey outside her home after a candlelight vigil on the one-year anniversary of her murder Friday, Dec. 26, 1997, in Boulder, Colo. About 60 people gathered for the vigil. (AP Photo/Michael S. Green)
John Ramsey looks on as his wife, Patsy, holds an advertisement promising a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the murderer of their 6-year-old daughter, JonBenet, during an interview Thursday, May 1, 1997, in Boulder, Colo. It was the Ramsey's first meeting with reporters since the days after their daughter was found slain in the basement of their family's home in Boulder, Colo., on Dec. 26, 1996. No arrests have been made in the girl's death. (AP Photo/Rocky Mountain News, Patrick Davison) PLEASE CREDIT: Patrick Davidson, Rocky Mountain News
Shrouded by trees near, an unidentified investigator uses a tape measure on the Ramsey family home early Tuesday, July 1, 1997, while gathering information to construct an architectural model of the 6,000-square-foot, Tudor-style home in which JonBenet Ramsey was murdered more than six months ago in Boulder, Colo. Boulder police, along with district attorney investigators and members of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, have been scruntinizing the home since Monday and may be in the home for up to a week. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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The bludgeoned and strangled body of 6-year-old JonBenet was found in the basement of her parents' Boulder, Colorado, home on Dec. 26, 1996.

No one has ever been charged for the murder, but in 1999 a grand jury seated to examine the case voted to indict the parents for child abuse resulting in death.

The district attorney at the time, Alex Hunter, declined to move forward with a prosecution, citing a lack of evidence.

A spokesman for CBS declined to comment on the lawsuit. At the time of the broadcast, the network said it stood by the program and "will do so in court" if sued by Ramsey.

At the conclusion of the CBS show, a panel of experts said it was its opinion that Burke Ramsey, who was 9 at the time of the killing, struck JonBenet in the head with a heavy object.

The parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, then staged the crime scene to make it appear an intruder was the culprit, the group opined.

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The lawsuit asks for $250 million in compensatory damages $500 million in punitive damages against CBS, the production company that produced the show, and the experts who re-examined the case.

In an interview on the "Dr. Phil" talk show that aired before the CBS documentary, Burke Ramsey denied harming his sister and said he suspected a pedophile who stalked beauty pageants killed her.

"Defendants' accusation that Burke Ramsey killed his sister was based on a compilation of lies, half-truths, manufactured information, and the intentional omission and avoidance of truthful information about the murder of JonBenet Ramsey," the lawsuit said.

Investigators announced this month that they will submit evidence to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation's forensics laboratory for advanced DNA testing that was unavailable when earlier samples were screened.

RELATED: Notable cold cases:

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Notable cold cases and unsolved murders throughout history
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Notable cold cases and unsolved murders throughout history

In June 1893 Lizzie Borden stood trial, later acquitted, for killing her father and stepmother with an ax.

(Photo via Bettmann/Getty Images)

Foreboding Kingsbury Run, shunned by the timid as the legend of its murders has grown, is indicated on this map by dots locating 10 of the 11 torso murders which have occurred there since Sept. 23, 1935. Police, delving into the lives of the mad murderer's victims, hope to uncover clues which will end the periodic killings. Discovery of photo negatives in the belongings of Edward Andra Ssy, first victim, show Andra Ssy in a strange room which, if identified, may provide a live lead, police believe. As the map shows, the murderer departed only twice from his custom of assailing victims in Kingsbury Run or adjacent Cuyahoga river valley.

(Bettmann via Getty Images)

Bucks Row, now Durward Street, east London, where the body of Mary Ann Nichols, victim of Jack the Ripper, was found lying across the gutter.

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Head shot of aspiring actress Elizabeth Short, a murder victim nicknamed the Black Dahlia. 

(Photo via Bettmann/Getty Images)

Daily News front page dated June, 16, 1990, Headline: IS HE THE ZODIAC?, Police sketch of man who approached latest victim in Central Park last Thursday and asked him his birth date., June 26, 1990 . , Zodiac Killer. , Heriberto Seda. Headlines. IS HE THE ZODIAC ?

(Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

U.S. labor leader Jimmy Hoffa is photographed at the Greater Pittsburgh Airport, Pennsylvania in this April 12, 1971 file photograph. Hoffa was switching planes from San Francisco, and was returning to the federal prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania. Hoffa was let out of prison to visit his wife, who had been hospitalized with heart problems. FBI teams on May 25, 2006 sifted by hand through dirt from a chest-deep hole in the ground in an intense search for the body of Jimmy Hoffa three decades after his disappearance. Hoffa was last seen outside a Detroit-area restaurant where he was to meet New Jersey Teamsters' boss Anthony "Tony Pro" Provenzano, a member of the Genovese crime family, and a local Mafia captain, Anthony "Tony Jack" Giacalone. Hoffa was declared dead in 1982, and numerous books about his life have pinned his disappearance on mobsters who murdered him because they did not want him interfering with their close ties to the union.

(REUTERS/Jerry Siskind)

 The site where 6 year old JonBenet Ramsey was killed in Boulder, Colorado, 1996.

(Photo by Karl Gehring/Liaison)

Black car in which rapper Tupac Shakur was fatally shot by unknown driveby assassins as he was riding w. friend Death Row records. pres. Marion Suge Knight, who survived shooting, behind police tape at crime scene (Photo by Malcolm Payne/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Police detectives released this composite drawing March 27 of the man they believe killed rap star Notorious B.I.G. in Los Angeles recently. The suspect, a black man in his early 20's with close-cropped hair, was wearing a bow-tie the night of the drive-by killing. Investigators have set up a toll free number for the public to call with any information about the suspect. NOTORIOUS BIG
Donna Norris poses next to a photo of her daughter Amber Hagerman, January 4, 2011, who was kidnapped 15 years ago while riding a bicycle near Norris mother's home in Arlington, Texas on January 13, 1996. (Richard W. Rodriguez/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
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(Reporting by Keith Coffman in Denver; Writing by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Editing by Matthew Lewis)


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