Orange is the New Black actress Taryn Manning is facing into a legal battle with the New York Police Department two years after she was falsely arrested by police during what sounds like a traumatic incident. The actress filed a suit for wrongful arrest in the Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday, Page Six reports.
What happened? Well, on November 20th 2014, Manning was taken in handcuffs to a precinct station in Chinatown after an incident involving her stalker, a former friend named Jeanine Heller. Heller alleged Manning sent her threatening texts and detectives were meeting the 37-year-old actress with a lawyer to talk about the communications. At the end of the meeting, Manning was ‘arrested’ and brought to a Chinatown station where she was processed and placed in a holding cell.
While we don’t know the particulars of what went down in the initial meeting, there is one very worrying facet of what happened. Manning was not meant to be arrested. The District Attorney’s office had decided very early on not to press charges against Manning, a development the NYPD were aware of. The actress, who plays Pennsatucky in the Netflix show, was released hours later.
The arrest made headlines, with Manning’s lawyer, James Franzetti, angry about the news leak and the damage it did to Manning’s name. Franzetti stressed to PEOPLE about how none of this should have happened. “Ms. Manning should never have been arrested where the New York City Police Department received advance notice from the New York County District Attorney’s Office that Ms. Manning would not be prosecuted based on an allegation of the subject complainant,” he said. He also mentioned how Heller, Manning’s stalker, wouldn’t leave his client alone. Heller was sentenced to six months in jail last July after contacting Manning, a breach of the plea deal she made promising to cease contact with the actress.
Manning is asking for $10 million in damages, to cover her lawyer fees, emotional distress and reputational harm.
Manning is probably going to be seeing a lot of her lawyer this year. Another former friend is bringing charges of assault against her. That’s a firm getting in a lot of billing hours…