'When They See Us' Linda Fairstein Resigns from Nonprofit Org

6/4/2019 5:19 PM PDT

Central Park 5 Investigator Linda Fairstein Resigns from Nonprofit Org


5:19 PM PT -- A rep for Safe Horizon tells us, "After careful consideration, Lina Fairstein has made the difficult decision to resign from the Safe Horizon Board of Directors. We thank her for her decades of pioneering work on behalf of victims of sexual assault and abuse. For more than 40 years, Safe Horizon's top priority has been empowering victims and survivors."

The statement continues, "We believe every victim deserves access to safety and support and will continue working toward that reality."

2:37 PM PT -- Fairstein has just resigned from her position on the board with Safe Horizon, but also insists she's the one who's been done wrong by the Netflix series, "When They See Us."

Fairstein sent a letter to Safe Horizon saying the program "depicts me, in a fictionalized version of events, in a grossly and maliciously inaccurate manner."

The NY Post first published details from Fairstein's letter, in which she said she was leaving Safe Horizon's board to avoid becoming a "lightning rod to inflict damage on this organization."

However, she took a parting shot, saying the group's CEO "declined to meet with me to learn the truths behind the inflammatory and false narrative depicted in a movie." 

She also described the #CancelLindaFairstein movement as a "mob-mentality reaction."

Linda Fairstein, a key figure in the wrongful prosecution of the Central Park 5, is facing a new backlash -- the nonprofit organization she worked on for nearly 20 years wants her canceled ... TMZ has learned.

Ever since Ava DuVernay's Netflix series, "When They See Us," debuted over the weekend, Fairstein has been feeling the heat. She was head of the Manhattan D.A.'s Sex Crimes Unit in 1989 when the 5 boys were convicted ... and her role in coercing confessions is sparking renewed outrage.

Sources at Safe Horizon -- a nonprofit aiding victims of abuse and violent crime in NYC -- tell us its staffers are incensed the former prosecutor's been allowed to remain on the board for so long, considering her checkered past.

We're told the animosity began when the CEO held a meeting on May 21 where nearly 100 directors were informed about the Netflix drama and Fairstein's connection to it.

We're told some staffers didn't even know Fairstein was on the board of directors, and when they found out tempers quickly flared. Many questioned why she was allowed on the board of an organization that mostly serves minorities.

Felicity Huffman plays Fairstein in "When They See Us" which documents her controversial role in getting the 5 boys -- all black or Hispanic -- to confess, under heavy duress, to the 1989 rape and attack of a Central Park jogger. 

We're told Safe Horizon staffers accused Fairstein of racism and demanded her immediate dismissal, but the CEO asked for time to evaluate.

Our sources say a majority of Safe Horizon's directors are fed up, and plan to take legal action this week to get Fairstein 86'd if the CEO won't do it.

As we first reported, Central Park Five exoneree Raymond Santana believes Fairstein -- who became a successful author -- is finally getting what she deserves. That includes the growing boycott of her books and publishers. 

As he puts it, "Even if it's 30 years later, she has to pay for her crime."

Originally published -- 1:00 AM PT