Following more than a week of intense public outcry, CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour issued a public apology on-air for referring to the murder of Maia, Rina and Lucy Dee as having occurred as the result of a "shootout."
In her on-air apology, Amanpour said: “On April 10, I referred to the murders of an Israeli family: Lucy, Maia and Rina Dee, the wife and daughters of Rabbi Leo Dee. I misspoke and said they were killed in a ‘shootout’ instead of a shooting. I have written to Rabbi Leo Dee to apologize and make sure that he knows that we apologize for any further pain that may have caused him.”
Rabbi Leo Dee told N12 in an interview later on Tuesday that he didn't accept the apology, saying that it was too little too late. He also said that he didn't believe that CNN would behave differently in the future.
Pro-Israel news outlet HonestReporting publicized Amanpour's initial comment on May 11, after it had gone under the radar for a month already. In an April 10 interview with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, Amanpour said:
"We have a young 15-year-old Palestinian boy who’s been shot and killed by security — Israeli security forces. We also have the mother of two sisters, Israeli British sisters. They were — they were killed in a shootout, and now the mother has died of her injury — injuries."
It's been five days since we called on @amanpour to apologize for saying the Dee family were "killed in a shootout."Neither she nor @CNN has responded.Now, Rabbi Leo Dee has joined the demand: it's time for Christiane Amanpour to apologize immediately. https://t.co/8a6z5IRJ4p pic.twitter.com/HzpH4VNFVE— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) May 16, 2023
Calling for an apology
HonestReporting shared the comment on Twitter and called for an apology. Rabbi Leo Dee, father of Maia and Rina and husband to Lucy, then gave the news outlet an exclusive statement also calling for an immediate apology.
On Sunday, according to the Jewish Journal, Rabbi Dee announced that he was considering a $1.3 billion lawsuit against CNN over Amanpour's comment. He also stated that he had received a personal apology from Amanpour but that he did not accept it and that he responded with a request for her to apologize publicly, which she then did, the Journal reported.
The Israeli Consulate in Atlanta announced last week that it plans to send a letter of complaint to CNN, and Israel's Foreign Ministry confirmed it was also working on a complaint.