Putnam County District Attorney Adam Levy, the son of TV's Judge Judy, is suing the local sheriff for $5 million claiming that Putnam County Sheriff Donald Smith "maliciously attempted to destroy" his reputation, according to the Associated Press.
Levy claims that Smith accused him of interfering in a rape investigation. Alexandru Hossu, Levy's personal trainer and friend, has been accused of raping a 13-year-old girl. While Levy recused himself from the case immediately Smith alleges that Levy was trying to use his position to influence the case, according to the Associated Press.
Hossu often stayed over at Levy's house and accompanied the family on a camping trip. Levy says the reason that he never disclosed his relationship with the accused was that he didn't want to harm the ongoing investigation, according to the Journal News.
"There was nothing to hide. My goal when this case first came out was not to feed into the frenzy, the media frenzy that Sheriff Smith created," Levy said. "It was important to the victim - to the alleged victim in this case - that her privacy be maintained, that she receives services that come along with a disclosure of this type, and the last thing that she needed and that any sex-abuse victim needs is a frenzy that makes them feel less secure."
While the lawsuit has been spoken about publicly by Levy and others Smith claims that he has yet to be served papers pertaining to the suit, according to the Journal News.
"The fact that the plaintiff has engaged a high-priced public relations firm, issued a press release about the lawsuit and held a press conference, all before even serving me the court papers, makes it clear to me and any casual observer that his motives are all about smearing me and trying to adversely affect the upcoming sheriff's election," Smith said.
The suit claims that Smith purposely told the media that Hossu lived at Levy's home despite knowing that was not the case in order to have the media inconvenience Levy. The suit also alleges that Smith's actions led to "helicopters flying over (Levy's) home and strangers walking up to his front door, frightening his wife and young children."
Judy Sheindlin, TV's favorite judge since Wapner, issued a statement in support of her son and the lawsuit.
"His moral compass is dead center," Sheindlin said. "When someone attacks his character professionally or personally they best be prepared to back it up - shut up - or pay up."