The attorney for three accused teens says the suicide of 15-year-old rape victim Audrie Pott is her parents’ fault, according to a court filing.
In response to a wrongful death suit filed by her family, attorney Philip Pereira claims Audrie’s long-divorced parents, Larry Pott and Sheila Pott, knew she had "long-standing and serious emotional problems before her suicide and they should have sought professional help.”
Pott committed suicide in 2012, eight days after she was allegedly sexually assaulted by classmates at a party. Her attackers wrote on her body, took photos, and passed them around at school.
Pereira argues that her suicide was "set in motion by the plaintiffs years before the events.”
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He disparaged Sheila Pott, by quoting former Superior Court Judge Dolores Carr in a 2005 court matter: "Ms. Pott, I would be remiss if I didn't look you in the eye and tell you what a mess I think you've made for many people ... because in this court's view, having ballet lessons and piano lessons and private school is really nothing in terms of the kinds of consequences your behavior has brought on your daughter."
Pereira also claims Larry Pott isn’t Audrie’s biological father, citing the fact that paternity was contested in 2003 by a man who said he had an affair with Audrie’s mother.
In October, Audrie’s father and stepmother honored her memory by founding the Audrie Pott Foundation, to offer scholarships to students in the Bay Area to pursue art and music and provide youth counseling, support and suicide and sexual assault awareness.