Friday 7 May 2010
In an episode of the Jenny Jones talk show, a gay man named Scott Amedure confessed his love for his friend Jonathan Schmitz. Schmitz, who had a history of mental illness, was angered by the statement. Three days after the show's taping, Schmitz killed Amedure. Schmitz was convicted of second-degree murder and received 25–50 years in prison. The episode did not air.
Amedure's family sued the show's producers, claiming they should have known about Schmitz's history of mental illness. Jones said her producers told Schmitz that his admirer could be a man, but Schmitz maintained they misled him into thinking the admirer would be a woman. Under oath, Jones admitted that the show did not want Schmitz to know that his admirer was a man. A jury found in favor of Amedure's family and awarded damages of $25 million. The Michigan appellate court overturned the verdict.