A Massachusetts finance minister who has pleaded not guilty to the college admission scandal has sued Netflix for defamation following the release of a new documentary giant "Operation Varsity Blues."
John B. Wilson, his wife, Leslie Wilson, and their son filed a lawsuit in the Essex Supreme Court on Tuesday, claiming that the documentary, which was first shown on March 17, was "extremely destructive."
Wilson, along with dozens of other parents, was arrested in March 2019 by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a humiliating charge, dubbed "Operation Varsity Blues." Wilson is accused of paying $ 120,000 to join a men's water polo team at the University of Southern California so his son could attend, according to NBC Boston.
Wilson allegedly worked on two other deals to get his daughters to Stanford and Harvard, the area reported. He pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by mail and telephone.
The lawsuit alleges that Wilson was innocent and "deceived" by William "Rick" Singer, the mastermind of the program. It says that prior to the release of the books, Netflix was warned in writing that the Wilsons would not be "collected for accounting" with other parents who pleaded guilty.
"No one, including the accused, who is awaiting trial, is required to sit down and allow their dignity to be unlawfully and unjustly violated by the international media," the case said.
He blames the broadcast platform for ignoring the facts and painting "Wilsons with a very wide and dirty brush."
The documentary tells the story of the Artist, who used the "side door" program to help wealthy parents - including actors Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman - put their children in top colleges and universities by bribing or making them look like artificial athletes.
In some cases, parents are accused of paying the Artist a proctor and arranging for college students' examinations.
The lawsuit alleges that Wilson was transferred to Singer by a "global financial advisory firm" that introduced Singer as "a highly regarded college counselor."
He believed that his payment to the artist was a "legal donation" to aid the admission of his children to schools, the case said.
"Among other things, the Wilson family made it clear to the defendants that Mr. Wilson's son was a true and talented water polo player who was part of the American Olympic development program, that his daughters got a 99% test score based on tests they took, and other public information, Wilsons provided to the Defendants, "he said.
The family wants a public apology on Netflix and documentary producers, as well as financial damage.
Netflix did not immediately return a comment on Friday.