Judge Temporarily Blocks Public Release of Records in Bob Saget’s Death

Judge Temporarily Blocks Public Release of Records in Bob Saget’s Death
Bob Saget attends the "Shameless" FYC event at Linwood Dunn Theater in Los Angeles, Calif., on March 6, 2019. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Isabel van Brugen

A Florida judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked local officials from releasing some records related to the death of comedian and actor Bob Saget.

Saget, 65, was found dead in an Orlando hotel room on Jan. 9 just hours after he posted to Twitter about a show he performed in Jacksonville. The “Full House” star’s family said on Feb. 9 that he died from head trauma.

Circuit Court Judge Vincent Chiu on Wednesday granted the family’s request to stop authorities from releasing pictures, audio, and videos from the Orange County Sheriff’s investigation into Saget’s death.

Citing privacy concerns, Saget’s wife and other family members filed a lawsuit against the medical examiner's office and the Orange County sheriff last month, saying that the records should only be released to family.

"Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm in the form of extreme mental pain, anguish, and emotional distress if defendants release the records in response to public records requests or otherwise disseminate the records for any other reason or purpose," the lawsuit said.

"No legitimate public interest would be served by the release or dissemination of the records to the public," it added.

The temporary injunction that prevents authorities from releasing the deceased actor’s death records will remain in effect pending a a future court decision on the family's request.

The Saget family have a "clear legal right or interest” in blocking the release of the records, Chiu wrote.

“The public interest is served by the entry of a temporary injunction to allow the Court adequate opportunity to weigh Plaintiffs' legitimate privacy interest against the public's claim for disclosure,” he added.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that although it is "sensitive" to the family’s concerns about the right to privacy, "that must be balanced with our commitment to transparency, compliance with the law, and the public’s right to know.”

The medical examiner’s office said that it “continues to offer our condolences to the family and loved ones of Robert Saget.”

“At this time we have no comment on current or pending litigation involving the office,” it added.

According to an autopsy, Saget died from blunt head trauma.

Dr. Joshua Stephany, Orange County’s chief medical examiner, said he believed Saget “suffered an unwitnessed fall backwards and struck the posterior aspect of his head.”

The manner of death was ruled accidental.

Saget tested positive for COVID-19 after testing positive earlier in December. Testing turned up no trace of drugs or toxins in his system.

Saget was perhaps best known for playing Danny Tanner on Full House and Fuller House. Besides acting, he was a comedian who regularly toured.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.