Patrick Reed has filed a defamation lawsuit against The Golf Channel and Brandel Chamblee, seeking damages exceeding $750 million. Reed asserts that he has faced consistent criticism since the age of twenty-three, with accusations of cheating persistently haunting his professional journey as a result of Chamblee’s commentary. Reed maintains that the Golf Channel and Chamblee have colluded to tarnish his reputation, undermine his achievements, and cultivate an unfriendly working atmosphere.
The recent criticism and remarks made by Chamblee have caused substantial financial and emotional damage to Reed, with claims of defamatory remarks that have hurt his reputation among fans and the golf community. These reckless comments have led to Reed losing out on multi-million dollar sponsorship deals and have angered fans, with some shouting derogatory remarks at him. Furthermore, Reed’s standing in the PGA tour has been impaired, with his reputation among fans tarnished and his livelihood suffering as a result. Golf Channel and Golf LIV have aimed to eliminate Reed from competition, with the goal of destroying his reputation among fans.
Each of these legal claims necessitates significantly distinct collections of factual assertions; nevertheless, the complaint endeavors to assert multiple civil conspiracy and defamation transgressions against every defendant. The complaint assimilates all of these facts into each charge and asserts a total of 120 factual allegations. Regrettably, Reed’s lawsuit for defamation was dismissed by a federal judge in Florida due to the failure to adequately notify the defendants about the basis of each claim.
Reed’s complaint alleged that Chamblee and the Golf Channel engaged in misrepresentation and deceptive information to deceive the public. However, it is important to note that a true statement cannot be considered defamatory. To constitute defamation, a statement must be false and presented as truth to a third party. Reed will have to demonstrate that the statement caused harm and, as a public figure, that it was published with malice, fault, or negligence. Only facts that can be proven false can be brought forward as defamation, as pure opinions cannot be considered defamatory. Previous court rulings have established that an opinion that is neither true nor false cannot be deemed as defamation since it fails to meet the requirement of falsehood. The first amendment safeguards exaggeration and non-literal commentary, which are now commonly employed in social interactions and commentary, by labeling it as ‘rhetorical hyperbole.’ Despite Chamblee’s harsh criticisms, including remarks about Reed “damaging the game of golf and its reputation” and labeling him as “one of the most greedy, self-serving, self-interested players in the world of golf today,” these statements, although unkind, are opinions and do not appear to fulfill the criteria for defamation.
Employing individuals and athletes from other golf organizations to defame and damage the reputation of LIV Golf in the media will not only hinder their progress but also tarnish their image.
28. Nevertheless, CNN is declining, asserting that any potential lawsuit Reed may attempt to file against them would be without merit, merely serving to intimidate journalists from reporting on significant news regarding the Saudi-backed LIV Golf tournament. 27. He is demanding that the segment be withdrawn and an apology be issued. 26. Reed claims that the segment was crafted to mock LIV Golf players and incite animosity and violence towards them. 25. While the commentators did not specifically mention Reed, they stated that LIV Golfers were accepting “blood money from the Saudi Public Investment Fund, in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy twenty-two years ago.” 24. Reed considered the segment titled ‘The Court Fight Between PGA Tour and LIV Golf Escalates as the Saudi-Backed LIV Tries to Avoid Handing Over Information’ to be highly defamatory. 23. Recently, Reed threatened CNN, Bob Costas, and Bloomberg with a lawsuit seeking damages exceeding 450 million dollars for airing a video segment criticizing LIV Golf. And that’s not all.
It is undeniable that the statements about Golf LIV and Reed Patrick in the media have been cruel and hurtful, and whether they remain to be seen, it does not benefit his reputation.
Alexandria is a second-year law student at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and is interested in international law, antitrust law, and corporate law. She is also an Editor Staff at the Law & Entertainment Arts Journal at Cardozo Law School.