Alex Murdaugh’s Surviving Son Is Suing Netflix, Warner Bros. For Defamation
Alex Murdaugh sits during an evidentiary hearing at the Richland County Courthouse on Tuesday, Jan.16, 2024.
Tracy Glantz/The State/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Buster Murdaugh, the only surviving son of convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh, has filed a lawsuit against Netflix, Warner Bros., and others for defamation.

Buster, the older brother of Alex’s murdered son Paul, filed the suit on Friday, alleging the defendants defamed him by insinuating he and Paul were behind the murder of a gay teen in South Carolina back in 2015.

The matter concerns the death of Stephen Smith, whose car ran out of gas on July 8, 2015. He was allegedly struck by a vehicle while walking along the road, but documentaries and news articles produced by the defendants alleged that Alex Murdaugh’s sons were behind the death. More recently, Buster says in his lawsuit, outlets have reported on other individuals being responsible for Smith’s death, and Buster has never been notified by anyone in law enforcement of any allegations against him for the killing.

Buster alleges that these claims were included in the documentary, “Murdaugh Murders; Deadly Dynasty,” produced by Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. and aired on the Investigation Discovery channel, as well as the Discovery+ streaming channel. Buster’s lawsuit claims that a 10-minute section of the documentary “falsely suggests and subtly accuses” Buster of murdering Smith.

Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc., and Warner Media Entertainment Pages, Inc., were also behind a three-part documentary titled “Low Country: The Murdaugh Dynasty,” which Buster says suggested he and others killed Smith with a baseball bat because he was gay. This documentary also alleged that Buster and Smith had a romantic relationship, which Buster says is “untrue.”

Buster is suing Netflix over its own documentary series “Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal,” which depicted a red-haired man with a baseball bat. Buster is known for his red hair. This documentary also included statements from participants saying, “Everyone keeps coming up to me and saying it was the Murdaugh boys” and “listening to these statements, it is pretty clear; Stephen’s death is intertwined with the Murdaughs,” according to Buster’s lawsuit. The series also suggests Buster and Smith were in a romantic relationship.


In addition to these companies, Buster is also suing other companies involved in the production of these documentaries and Gannett Co., a major newspaper publisher that publishes The Hampton County Guardian. Buster is suing the Guardian’s editor over his statements in the Netflix documentary, which allude to Buster’s alleged involvement in Smith’s death.

Buster’s father, Alex, is currently serving consecutive life sentences for the murders of his wife, Maggie, and youngest son, Paul. Murdaugh has denied killing his family members. In addition, Alex is serving decades-long sentences for financial crimes. Buster has not been charged with any crimes.

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