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While A&E Television Networks is no stranger to lawsuits, its current lawsuit may be the most strange. A&E is currently being sued by Marlorita Battle for falsely portraying her as smuggling drugs in her private parts, according to Courthouse News. Marlorita Battle claims that she never gave the television permission to use her image or likeness at all, but they filmed her during their "Conspiracy" episode on its show called The Squad: Prison Police.
The episode was filmed by Wild Eyes Production at the Riverbend State Prison in Nashville, TN on Aug 30. Marlorita Battle visited her husband in prison with her infant child that day. She claims that A&E Television Networks showed her entering the prison, zoomed in on her driver's license, and interacting with her husband. Ms. Battle claims that she never gave the television network permission to film her or show her driver's license.
The complaint by Ms. Battle gets more bizarre as she details how a performer on the show comments on how visitors to the prison sometimes smuggle drugs in body cavities. The narrator says these statements as footage of Marlorita Battle shows her walking into the bathroom. The narrator then says something is happening and implies that Ms. Battle will retrieve some kind of contraband from her body. When she exits the bathroom, Ms. Battle kisses her husband goodbye while the same narrator implies that she has passed along drugs to her husband, according to her complaint.
As a result, Marlorita Battle claims that her relatives alerted her to the episode and asked her why she looked like a drug dealer in the show,The Tennessean reports. "[A&E] knew these statements were false when made and were intended to harm the reputation and character of plaintiff," the complaint states. The Tennessee Department of Correction confirms that it investigated the possibility that Ms. Battle could have smuggled drugs to her husband that day but that she was not charged with a crime.
Marlorita Battle is suing both A&E Television Networks and Wild Eyes Production for $375,000 in compensatory and punitive damages for defamation, false light, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, according to the Hollywood Reporter. She is also seeking the profits that both parties gained from airing the episode.
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