Patrick Reed drops defamation lawsuit, files bigger one

NEW YORK – Patrick Reed dropped his US$750 million (S$1.08 billion) defamation lawsuit against the Golf Channel and Brandel Chamblee in Texas only to refile a bigger one – with more defendants – in a Florida federal court.

Reed’s attorney Larry Klayman refiled the suit on Wednesday in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Jacksonville. Added to the list of defendants are Golf Channel Damon Hack, Shane Bacon and Eamon Lynch, and Golf Channel parent companies Golfweek and Gannett.

The original claim, filed in August, that Chamblee and Golf Channel conspired with the PGA Tour and commissioner Jay Monahan to defame Reed “since he was 23 years old” – nine years ago.

Reed’s allegations include “misreporting information with falsity and/or reckless disregard of the truth, that is with actual and constitutional malice, purposely omitting pertinent key material facts to mislead the public, and actively targeting (Reed) to destroy his reputation, create hate, and a hostile work environment for him.”

Much of the same language is used in the new filing. The US$750 million sought is for actual and compensatory damages; Reed claims he lost multimillion-dollar sponsorships as a result of being defamed by Chamblee et al.

The new suit states that the defamation was “intentionally published and perpetrated by the Defendants in the state of Florida, where the offending acts were accessed, read, opened, and viewed by numerous third-party Florida residents and citizens.”

In January 2020, Reed’s lawyer sent Chamblee a cease-and-desist letter demanding he not repeat accusations that Reed cheated during a tournament.

Reed was penalised two strokes at the Hero World Challenge in 2019 for improving his lie in a bunker, but he claimed he didn’t intend to do so.

Chamblee continued to take Reed to task over the years, not only for cheating allegations but also for his decision to defect from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf earlier this year.

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