MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Jett Miller and Whitley Goodman filed the $47 million lawsuit in Lauderdale County Circuit Court earlier this month.
The lawsuit alleges the defendants published and reported false accusations and defamatory statements about the plaintiffs on multiple social media platforms and on two podcasts involving the 2014 death of 21-year old Christian Andreacchio who was found unresponsive in a bathroom at a meridian apartment complex.
Andreacchio’s death was ruled a suicide, but the lawsuit states the defendants “falsely and defamatorily” alleged the plaintiffs either killed Christian or participated in his death.
Since 2014, Christian Andreacchio’s family has insisted Christian’s death was not a suicide even after meridian police and the medical examiner’s office ruled his death a suicide and after a grand jury returned a no-true bill and refused to indict two people in connection with the 21-year old's death.
Christian’s death has polarized and divided the community- some believe it was murder- others agree with the official ruling of suicide.
The case has been a hot-button topic on Facebook and Twitter over the past several years and received national attention last year when the creators of two podcasts produced an investigative series about Christian’s death including theories as to how he died.
Two people at the center of the podcasts have filed a $47 million lawsuit alleging defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The 22-page lawsuit identifies Jett Miller and Whitley Goodman as the plaintiffs.
Miller and Goodman are suing the Andreacchio family, members of black mountain media which created the “Culpable” podcast, Tenderfoot TV, a private investigator who also created a podcast called “without warning” the executor of Christian Andreacchio’s estate and 50 John Doe’s.
The lawsuit alleges all of the defendants repeatedly made defamatory accusations including accusing the plaintiffs of killing Christian on both the podcasts and on social media
The suit also reiterates and stands firm on the official ruling of suicide stating “Christian had been suicidal and made threats to commit suicide prior to his doing so”
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs have also requested temporary restraining orders against the defendants and are demanding the defendants remove all false and defamatory statements regarding the plaintiffs from the internet.
Newscenter 11 spoke with Rae Andreacchio, Christian’s mother, and she says she doesn’t have a comment about the lawsuit right now. Meanwhile, district attorney Kassie Coleman has stated several times her office is "ready to receive and review any new evidence in the case".