So this is the catch, 99% of people know about the Seaworld whale trainer that died… and 99% deep inside WANTS to watch the video. You like it or not this is the reality and that’s why the marine park and the family of and the family of a park trainer drowned last month by a killer whale are preparing for a legal battle to prevent video footage of the accident from being aired on television or online.
The parties have held talks with Jon Mills, an emeritus dean at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law and a former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, about representing them in efforts to block release of video recordings of the Feb. 24 tragedy, in which a 6-ton orca pulled 40-year-old trainer Dawn Brancheau into its tank and drowned her in front of park guests.
The Gainesville laywer was also part of the legal team that represented the widow of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt in her battle to prevent the release of her husband’s autopsy photos after he was killed in a 2001 race crash in Daytona Beach.
In a statement distributed by SeaWorld on Monday afternoon, a spokesman for Brancheau’s family said public airings of the video of the tragedy would only compound what is already “a time of tremendous sadness and grief for our family.”
“Use of this video will do nothing more than further sensationalize a tragic event and traumatize our family,” said Charles LoVerde, the spokesman. “Some members of the news media have shown restraint and sensitivity during this difficult time, but many others have not. The conduct of some members of the press has been disgraceful. Our family has a right to heal in private, and we once again appeal to the media to recognize the terrible pain we are experiencing and give us a small measure of respect and privacy.”
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