Ramseys sue newspaper and magazine on behalf of son

NEW YORK - JonBenet Ramsey's parents sued the New York Post and Time Warner for $4 million each Monday, saying they libeled the Ramseys' son by portraying him as the prime suspect in his sister's murder.

The lawsuits were filed in federal court in Manhattan less than two months after it was disclosed that John and Patsy Ramsey had settled a $25 million lawsuit against the Star, a supermarket tabloid, for stories linking JonBenet's death to their son, Burke. The boy was 9 at the time of the killing.

The latest suit claims a Post article falsely alleged that Burke killed his sister, that he was the prime suspect in her killing and that his representatives were ''in secret plea bargain negotiations'' with the prosecutor.

The couple also claims that a Time.com article had a headline that libeled Burke by saying: ''Extra: Tabloid solves JonBenet Case! - Star magazine reports that police now think the brother did it. Don't laugh.''

In a statement, Post Publisher Ken Chandler said the Ramseys' case was frivolous. ''We have no doubt that the Post will prevail,'' he said.

Todd Polkes, a Time Warner spokesman, said the company had no comment.

JonBenet, 6, was found beaten and strangled Dec. 26, 1996, in the basement of her parents' home in Boulder, Colo. Boulder police have said Burke is not a suspect, but they still regard the parents as being under an ''umbrella of suspicion.''

The Ramseys' lawsuits said the parents rejected the suggestion that the son might have killed his sister in a jealous rage over the attention she got as a child beauty queen. They said Burke was sleeping when ''an unknown assailant brutally murdered his 6-year-old sister.''

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