Nancy Grace is a legal commentator and former news television host who has been a household name since her show started airing in 2005. It ran for over 10 years and brought us all the latest news, celebrity gossip, and commentary on current affairs that sparked heated conversations all over the country.
Nancy Grace has always been in the headlines for her controversial views and comments on certain topics, so we wanted to delve a little deeper and look into her life, the show that shared her name, and what she’s been up to since the show ended. We’ll also look at some of the most shocking moments in Grace’s career.
Nancy Wanted To Be An English Teacher
Nancy Grace’s life had a pretty uneventful beginning. She grew up in Georgia, the youngest of three children, and wanted to hold down a “normal” job one day. Her dream was to become an English teacher.
But when she was just 19 years old, her boyfriend, Keith Griffin, was fatally wounded in a robbery gone wrong. Since that moment, she had a keen interest in legal affairs and decided to pursue a career in law instead of teaching.
Getting Her Start
Motivated by her personal tragedy, Grace was determined to start a career in law. She earned a degree in constitutional and criminal law from New York University. From there, she got a job working as a special prosecutor the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in Atlanta.
Grace’s no-nonsense demeanor in the courtroom led to her landing a gig co-hosting a live trial coverage show called Closing Arguments. She later co-hosted Cochran and Grace and Swift Justice with Nancy Grace.
HLN’s Nancy Grace
From 2005 to 2016, Nancy Grace hosted a nightly current affairs show on CNN’s HLN, appropriately called Nancy Grace. She became famous for being a strong advocate for victims’ rights, as well for as her outspoken viewpoints.
She covered a variety of topics that other TV personalities would choose to steer clear of. Her opinionated commentary attracted a lot of attention and she frequently found herself in the middle of controversy because of it.
Nancy Grace Scolds Her Producer
One of the many moments that shocked viewers is when Nancy Grace called out her producer live on air for her presentation of news regarding the socialite Paris Hilton. Hilton had violated her probation, and the producer in the control room decided to put up a provocative image of her during the news announcement.
Grace scolded her producer right then and there, saying, “part of the problem is – back to you Elizabeth in the control room – people like you, and others are blinded by celebrity.”
Nancy Grace has used lots of hashtags on Twitter that stand out. Some fans find them hilarious, but it can’t be denied that they are pretty out there when it comes to pushing the boundaries.
From #HotCupOfPoison to #PregMomRunOver to #BabyInDryer or #HammerDeath, there was no shortage of bizarre hashtags when Grace was discussing a lurid case. The negative press surrounding the hashtags never seemed to bother her, though.
The Elizabeth Smart Ordeal
A 2002 case blew up into chaos, after Utah teenager Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped and a suspect was arrested on the basis that he knew Smart and had been at her home. The investigation was in the very early stages when Nancy Grace accused then-suspect Richard Ricci of being guilty on live TV.
Grace continued to claim that Ricci was guilty, even after he died. However, it later came out that Elizabeth Smart was not abducted by Ricci, but by two individuals Ricci had never even had contact with. The controversy made many viewers question Grace’s professionalism.
Nancy Interrogates Elizabeth Smart
Nancy came under scrutiny again when she brought Elizabeth Smart on the show to highlight a proposed bill that would support abducted individuals. However, Smart was pushed by Nancy Grace to look back on her past.
Smart said that she did not appreciate talking about the past and wanted to move on and talk about the bill instead. After continuing to push the issue, Nancy Grace eventually dropped it. However, many said that her actions were deeply inappropriate toward someone who had experienced such trauma.
A Softer Side Of Nancy Grace
Meanwhile, behind the scenes of the TV show, Nancy Grace got married to an Atlanta investment banker named David Linch. They wed in 2007, but had been together for years after meeting each other during their time at Mercer University.
They had a quiet ceremony that included close friends and family. “We’ve been in touch all these years and a lot of time we were separated by geography and time,” she told the New York Post. “It was a spur-of-the-moment decision to get married. I told my family only two days before [the wedding].
Suspicion Surrounding Whitney Houston’s Death
Nancy Grace wasn’t shy when it came to tossing out theories about Whitney Houston’s 2012 death. Grace repeatedly claimed that we didn’t know who gave the singer illicit substances or who pushed her under the water. Her angle was that she wanted to know the truth about what happened to Houston in the last moments of her life.
As a guest on CNN, she stated, “who let her slip, or pushed her, underneath that water? Apparently, no signs of force or trauma to the body. Who let Whitney Houston go under her water?” Anchor Don Lemon appeared on-screen soon after and clarified that Grace’s comments were not CNN’s reporting.
The Duke Drama
Another infamous moment that made many question whether Grace was doing the right thing when she interrogated suspects was her interview of the Duke University Lacrosse players who had been part of a huge assault accusation in 2006. She vehemently proclaimed that the young men involved were guilty.
It turned out that the charges were false, and the men were let off the hook. Grace was on vacation when the not-guilty verdict came out so someone else reported the news. However, she was widely scolded for her behavior.
Twins In 2008
In 2008, Nancy Grace and her husband became the proud parents of twins, John David and Lucy Elizabeth. Grace called the babies “miracles.”
“I always wanted a family,” Grace told People. “I was 47 when I got pregnant. I’d been trying for a couple of years and thought it would never happen.” The babies brought her more joy that she ever could have imagined. “Before I had [them], I never really let myself love 100%. Lucy and John David have changed all that.”
She Speculated About The Ultimate Warrior’s Death
The major WWE superstar died in 2014 and Grace had his friend and colleague Dallas Page on her show. She commented that there are so many wrestlers who die young, and even indicated that steroid use by Warrior could have caused his death.
“I went on ‘Nancy Grace’ last night expecting to discuss Warrior the man,” Page later tweeted. “Had I known the only topic discussed would be steroids I would not have participated.” Those were some of the nicer things he had to say about the appearance.
She Called Out ‘Making A Murderer’
Nancy Grace also had some beef with Making A Murderer, the Netflix documentary about a convicted murder suspect named Steven Avery that made him appear innocent. While the true-crime show was a hit across the country, Grace didn’t like the way the show presented evidence and wasn’t afraid to speak her mind about it.
She made it a point to try and discredit the show, claiming that the court had lots of evidence to prove Steven Avery’s guilt, that wasn’t mentioned in the documentary. His conviction was later upheld, so Grace could have been right.
She’s An Author, Too
When she wasn’t filming her show, Nancy Grace also published a handful of successful books. Objection!: How High-Priced Defense Attorneys, Celebrity Defendants, and a 24/7 Media Have Hijacked Our Criminal Justice System; The Eleventh Victim; and Death on the D-List are all popular reads for fans of the show.
Many have even reached The New York Times Bestseller List. Her latest book, Murder in the Courthouse, was released in 2016 and is also selling well.
The Twins Today
In 2018, Grace tweeted this photo of her twins in the kitchen, captioned “Twins growing up! Making their own Mac-n-cheese!” She’s shared many photos of them over the years and credits them with helping her get over the loss of her fiance so many years ago.
“I guess a message I have to other loved ones of crime victims is please don’t mourn and grieve for as long as I let myself,” she said. “Joy is all around us. Don’t do what I did. Grab that joy and run with it. That’s my message I learned from the twins.”
Nancy Grace, Canceled
In 2016 Nancy Grace’s contract ended she walked away from it. HLN replaced the slot with Primetime Justice, giving Grace a time out to focus on other pursuits.
Many think that her ratings dropped off due to the show’s lack of evolution with the times. Although her sensationalist coverage and controversial personality were popular in the past, many viewers wanted to see less extreme opinions. The channel wanted to push away from the sensationalism and become a more serious and respected source of news.
The 2 Chainz Feud
Nancy Grace waded into the cannabis legalization debate when she invited rapper 2 Chainz on her show. Her interview scrutinized the rapper about the evils of the drug, and she said she’d seen him using it herself.
Oddly, she then showed completely unrelated footage of a mother giving the substance to a baby. 2 Chainz remained calm and said that the scene in the video was due to child abuse, not legalization issues.
The Criticism Does Get To Her
Some might be surprised to learn that Grace isn’t immune to all the criticism she’s received over the years. In a Fox News interview, she confessed, “I should have a thicker hide by now.”
“But I got that criticism from the get-go when I started trying cases in every way imaginable from mocking me to questioning my ability to try a case to make comments on my clothing or my figure — a million different attacks from every corner. My hair, my accent, the way I talk or walk,” she said.
She’s Back On TV
When her show stopped airing in 2016, Nancy took a breather and regrouped with her family. She’s now back on the small screen and is battling it out with her old legal nemesis Dan Abrams, who she has disagreed with on lots of cases in the past, on a show called Grace vs. Abrams.
The debate show looks at older cases and gets back into them, using new cases and facts to discover the truth. The two love to hate each other, but clearly have great on-stage chemistry and have created a very entertaining show. Viewers love watching them spar. Grace and Abrams have known each other for over 20 years and work hard to make the show a success.
Injustice With Nancy Grace
She couldn’t stay away for long. In July of 2019, Nancy Grace became the host of a new Oxygen TV channel true-crime series. It’s called Injustice with Nancy Grace, and it seeks to bring attention to a wide variety of shocking criminal cases. She’s right back at home with this show.
“It reminds me of the courtroom,” Grace told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Now I prepare these cases as if I were taking it to a jury. At HLN, things were happening in real time. In this case, I get to look at every angle in and out.”