Golfer Patrick Reed Threatens $450 Million Lawsuit Against Jake Tapper And Bob Costas For “Highly Defamatory” CNN Segment
Golf pro Patrick Reed is demanding an apology from CNN anchor Jake Tapper and sports commentator Bob Costas over what his lawyer has described as a defamatory segment which aired on the network, in which negative remarks targeting the LIV Golf Tour were allegedly made. If the apology doesn't manifest, Reed is willing to go forward with a $450 million lawsuit.
Golf pro Patrick Reed is demanding an apology from CNN anchor Jake Tapper and sports commentator Bob Costas over what his lawyer has described as a defamatory segment which aired on the network, in which negative remarks targeting the LIV Golf Tour were allegedly made. If the apology doesn’t manifest, Reed is willing to go forward with a $450 million lawsuit.
According to Golf Monthly, Larry Klayman, Reed’s attorney who also represents LIV Golf, sent CNN a formal letter this week calling them out for what he described as a “highly defamatory” segment which was conducted by Tapper and Costa.
The letter stated, “Late last week, CNN and Jake Tapper, along with CNN’s sports reporter Bob Costas, aired a highly defamatory piece titled, “The Court Fight Between PGA Tour and LIV Golf Escalates as the Saudi-backed LIV Tries to Avoid Handing Over Information.”
It also read, “This widely viewed broadcast in Florida, the nation and internationally, was not only defamatory but also designed to incite ridicule, hatred and violence against LIV Golf players, such as my client Patrick Reed, a world champion professional golfer, by publishing that he takes “blood money” from the Saudi Public Investment Fund, in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy twenty-two (22) years ago.”
It also asserts, “The article also, at a minimum, falsely implies that [he’s] using a lawsuit, of which he is not even a party, to dig up data, track down, intimidate and harass 9/11 victim families. The broadcast republishes with reckless disregard for the truth, a prior Bloomberg article, and references the Bloomberg article in the broadcast.”
“Mr. Reed is not a taker of ‘blood money,’ as he simply plays on a golf tour financed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which also owns large shares in a myriad of American companies such as Disney, Boeing, J.P. Morgan Chase, Amazon, Blackrock Inc., Microsoft and many others,” Klayman’s letter continued. “Indeed, many sponsors of the PGA Tour benefit from this investment fund, and PGA Tour players have recently been granted releases by the PGA Tour to play in the Saudi International Golf Tournament in Jeddah, on February 2-5, 2023, also financed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund. Aramco, the oil company owned by the government of Saudi Arabia, also sponsors and finances a number of LPGA events. Are you accusing female professional golfers of also taking ‘blood money?'”
Subscribe and get our daily emails and follow us on social media.
By opting in, you agree to receive emails from TheMix.net. Your information will not be shared with or sold to 3rd parties.
It then declares, “Tapper, Costas and CNN are therefore on notice that if an on air public apology is not immediately made to Mr. Reed and the broadcast removed and retracted from CNN’s websites, streaming services and other forms of publication, in order to mitigate the damage which they have caused, as well as discipline meted out to Tapper and Costas, we reserve the right after five (5) days to sue Tapper, Costas and CNN pursuant to Florida Statute 770.01 for damages well in excess of $450,000,000 dollars which includes compensatory, actual, special and punitive damages.”
As noted above, Klayman’s letter demands that a lawsuit would be initiated if “an on-air public apology is not immediately made to Mr. Reed” by Tapper and Costas.
Additionally, Klayman also demanded that the specific “broadcast [be] removed and restricted from CNN’s websites, streaming services and other forms of publication, in order to mitigate the damage which they three have caused.” The third individual Klayman referred to was brand new CNN CEO Chris Licht.
While Tapper had not specifically named Reed during the segment, he did say that earnings from LIV Golf were the equivalent to “blood money.”
“Last year, with that money, they snagged several top PGA players to come on board,” said Tapper. “The human-rights-challenged Saudis did this by offering these players quite a bit of money. A lot of money. Blood money? Sure, maybe. A lot of it.”
For that statement alone, Klayman stated that “the broadcast republishes with reckless disregard for the truth, a prior Bloomberg article.”
CNN responded to Klayman’s threat of the $450 million lawsuit, calling it “frivolous.”
“This is a frivolous lawsuit, whose aim is to chill free speech and intimidate journalists from covering important stories about the Saudi government and the Saudi-backed LIV golf tournament,” read a statement provided to Front Office Sports by a CNN spokesperson. “CNN will aggressively defend its reporting, which did not even mention the plaintiff in its coverage.”
What are your thoughts? Do you think Reed’s lawsuit is too much of a reach or does it make a strong enough case? Let us know in the comments below.