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Gabby Petito's family pushes attorney to reveal secret chat with Brian Laundrie: court docs

Lawyers representing Gabby Petito's family filed an amended lawsuit compelling Laundrie family attorney Steve Bertolino to say what Brian Laundrie told him.

Brian Laundrie "was frantic" when he told his father that Gabby Petito was "gone" on Aug. 29, 2021, and he needed a lawyer, according to recently filed court documents.

Petito's family filed an amended complaint in the ongoing civil case against the Laundrie family and their lawyer, Steve Bertolino, compelling Bertolino to say what Brian told him on Aug. 29, 2021.

For context, Gabby was killed on Aug. 27, 2021, and her body was found on Sept. 19, 2021. 

Her family has argued in court filings that Bertolino and Brian's family knew Brian killed Gabby and kept it a secret as part of an alleged conspiracy to help Brian evade justice while inflicting emotional distress on the Petitos.

EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: BRIAN LAUNDRIE'S MOM DRIVE TO GABBY PETITO DEPOSITION IN KILLER SON'S MUSTANG

The amended complaint was filed in Sarasota County, Florida, court on Oct. 26, a week after the Laundries' lawyers proposed a settlement.

Details of the proposed settlement are confidential, the Petitos' lawyer Pat Reilly told Fox News Digital in an email, and were never released. 

GABBY PETITO TIMELINE

But Gabby's family rejected the proposal and filed court documents to compel Bertolino to tell the court what Brian told him. 

Bertolino and his defense team have argued that conversation is protected by attorney-client privilege, which Petito's lawyers addressed in the Oct. 26 court filing. 

"Because Brian Laundrie confessed to the murder of Gabrielle Petito, the conversation he had with Steven Bertolino about such murder is no longer protected by attorney-client privilege as it has been waived by the client," the filing says. 

This is in reference to Brian's suicide note, which was found in his backpack next to his body. It was included as an exhibit in the court filing 

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Even if Brian didn't waive attorney-client privilege, it's intended to protect to the client. "The lawyer may not assert the privilege on his behalf," the Petitos' lawyers argued.

"In this matter, Steven Bertolino was not asserting the attorney-client privilege on behalf of Brian Laundrie, who had already waived that privilege, but rather he is asserting it on his own behalf to keep himself from testifying about what he knew," the filing says.

Bertolino told Fox News Digital that they will be opposing the "groundless motion to compel."

His lawyers didn't respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.

The crux of the civil case takes aim at Bertolino's comment on Sept. 14, 2021, when he told news outlets it was the "hope" of the Laundrie family "that the search for Miss Petito is successful and that Miss Petito is reunited with her family."

The lawsuit alleges Bertolino and Brian's family knew at that point that Gabby was dead, and "under those circumstances, the statement was insensitive, cold-hearted and outrageous."

GABBY PETITO AND BRIAN LAUNDRIE: BOMBSHELL VIDEO EMERGES REVEALING HOURS BEFORE MURDER

Gabby's death was ruled a homicide by manual strangulation. 

On Oct. 20, 2021, investigators discovered Laundrie’s remains in a swampy environmental park nearby. In a dry bag also recovered at the scene, the FBI said Laundrie confessed to Petito’s murder in writing.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE TRUE CRIME FROM FOX NEWS 

"I ended her life," handwritten note says. "I thought it was merciful, that it is what she wanted, but I see now all the mistakes I made. I panicked. I was in shock."

He framed it as a mercy killing, writing that she injured herself in a fall near the campsite. He also wrote: "From the moment I decided, took away her pain, I knew I couldn't go on without her."

Petito's parents have since launched the Gabby Petito Foundation to advocate for domestic violence awareness and missing persons cases.

If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic violence, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 (SAFE).

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