Dr. Harold J. Bursztajn alleges in documents filed in U.S. District Court in Ocala, Fla., that Melinda Duckett committed suicide after being subjected to "unanticipated public humiliation" during a 2006 appearance on Grace's TV show, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported Friday.
"Her (Duckett's) apparently unanticipated public humiliation on the nationally televised program in question was a substantial contributing cause of her suicide," Bursztajn said in her preliminary opinion as part of a wrongful-death civil case filed by Duckett's family.
Duckett was interviewed on Sept. 7, 2006, by Grace as authorities attempted to locate Duckett's missing 2-year-old son Trenton.
Bursztajn alleges the interview featured "a distraught young woman who is subject to repeated and increasingly sharp questioning by a hostile interviewer who displays increasing suspicion and anger towards Ms. Duckett."
The Sentinel said Duckett, whose son was never found, shot herself in the head the day after the interview was recorded.
Lawyers for Grace, star of HLN's "Nancy Grace" TV series," had no comment.