Back in February, Benajmin Seibert found himself in a bit of a mess. Police were looking for him in connection with a break-in in Denver, Colorado. A woman in Denver had just put her kids to bed and went downstairs to look at her cell phone. On the phone, she found a picture of a man she did not know.
It appeared that someone had broken into her home while she was upstairs, taken a picture of himself on her phone, and left it for her to find. She called police, who started hunting for the man. A Crime Stoppers alert was issued, and the man’s picture was posted on television.
National talk show host Nancy Grace started talking about this incident on her show, referring to the man as the “Selfie Stalker,” and saying that his behavior was a “textbook serial killer’s calling card.”
The problem was, the picture on the woman’s phone was Benjamin Seibert. And Benjamin Seibert was nowhere near Denver.
Police investigated and discovered that the picture on her phone was actually from Seibert’s Facebook account. Police determined that Seibert’s story was true — he was in California when the whole “break-in” took place. So they declared publicly that he was not suspected of anything. The picture had somehow accidentally made its way to the woman’s phone — possibly an accidental screenshot while perusing pages.
But Nancy Grace did not let up. She continued to refer to Seibert as the “Selfie Stalker” on Facebook and Twitter. Now Seibert is suing Nancy Grace, charging defamation.
“It’s still very hard to deal with that as your reputation with millions of people,” said Seibert.
Seibert’s attorney said they asked Nancy Grace repeatedly to issue a retraction, post a correction.
“It’s very clear that despite a number of attempts to have this cease, it did not. Ms. Grace continued. It’s all described in the pages of the complaint and we had no alternative but to send a message taken more seriously,” said John Pineau, Seibert’s attorney. “He’s very much hoping that those responsible are held accountable. He would like to correct the record he’s not a serial killer.”
Seibert is suing Nancy Grace and Turner Broadcasting.