'Selena makes me sick': Man wants to sue singer after teenage daughter commits suicide
After Herndon tried to stop the shooting of the second season to take place, his failed attempt is pushing him to sue the actress
Selena Gomez has always stood for what she believed is right and with her show 13 Reasons Why, she wanted to shine light on socially current topics including harassment, bullying, rape, mental illness and teenage suicide. However, it seems to have had a negative effect on a California teenager who was battling depression. The girl, 15-year-old Bella, committed suicide by hanging in her closet in April 2017.
The 13-episode drama, co-produced by Gomez, is based on Jay Asher's young-adult 2007 bestseller about 17-year-old Hannah Baker, a high school student, who kills herself and leaves behind 13 audiotapes detailing the events that led to her death, including sexual assault, substance abuse and bullying.
The show received various awards and worldwide claim for being one of the honest shows that show the dark side of bullying. But Bella's heartbroken family—father John Herndon and mother Donna—are slamming the show now for completing season two. John claims his daughter committed suicide after watching the popular show’s first season.
On April 18, Bella was found by her parents and was quickly rushed to the hospital. The 15-year-old was admitted for 10 days before she gave up on life. John was aware that his daughter was battling with depression but never did he imagine that one day she would take her own life.
In an interview with Radar, John opened up about how he blames the Wolves singer for her daughter's death. Shortly after Bella's death, John realized that prior to her death, she had spent her time binge-watching the TV show, which, according to John, was a trigger for Bella to take the decision.
One thing that angered John the most was that Selena failed to understand that not everyone who is watching the show will look at the show from the perspective she wants. According to him, there are many out there who battle with depression and would see the show as a motivation to do something drastic.
“Remember that there are teens out there that are in a little darker place and these could be your friends, your sisters,” John told the magazine. “Selena Gomez and Netflix need to understand that not everybody’s going to understand this very well. Some people who are battling with depression, this could catch them at the wrong time, creating what is called the trigger event.”
However, John did try to contact Selena with the hope that he will be able to convince the singer-actress to stop the production of the show for its second series. In order to get her attention, he messaged her on her official website but did not receive any response from her or anyone from her team.
“I asked that she remove her support and get Netflix to stop,” John said. “I received no response.”
John even went on to call Selena and Netflix “hypocritical” as he believes that the streaming company did not bother to stop the production of the show despite various reports from people saying that it has been glamorizing suicide but did not take a second to fire Kevin Spacey and Danny Masterson after allegations of sexual harassment.
“They made those decisions to make themselves look like a socially responsible company yet they are making a product about people who are hurt and how they can hurt themselves,” John said. John even tried contacting Netflix when he failed to reach out to Selena or her team.
However, with Season 2 coming soon he has lost all hope. He is concerned that the new episodes might pose health risks for certain young people, such as those who have suicidal thoughts. “I’ve seen too many posts by the creators who indignantly say it’s helped more people than it’s hurt," he said.
“How many people have to be hurt before somebody aside from me stands up and says, ‘You know, this is wrong.'"
There is no doubt that there is no pain worse than losing a loved one and the loss of their daughter still haunts them to date.
“Every day we’re assaulted by these feelings we get for Bella. I can’t control how sick it makes me feel,” John said. He also added that in the recent times when Selena spoke about her health struggles, it angered him even more. "She has spared no expense rattling her own saber about her kidney transplant,” John said.
“She talked about how painful it was and spent significant effort getting that ‘oh poor me’ out there. That’s just disgusting," he continued. He even told the magazine that if it was in his power, he would sue everyone who was involved in the production of the show.
“Suing a billion-dollar company like Netflix is not within my means right now unless there are other like-minded individuals that want to engage collectively together to bring a suit against them,” said John. He also added that if it were ever to happen, he would not be afraid to bring forth a huge liability and wrongful death suit, naming “Selena, Netflix, the show director, screenwriter—anybody I could think of.”
When 13 Reasons Why debuted at the end of March, it received some positive reviews from critics, but also sparked concerns among parents, counselors and school administrators for its graphic portrayal of teenage suicide and sexual assault. Think pieces about whether the series glamorized suicide or would encourage copycat behavior abounded.
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