Patrick Reed is the newest member of the LIV Golf Series turn from the course to the courts, as the 2018 Masters champion filed a $750 million defamation suit against Golf Channel and commentator Brandel Chamblee.
The civil lawsuit presented on Tuesday in the US district court for the southern district of Texas in Houston, a a copy of which was obtained by the Guardian, alleges that Chamblee and the cable network conspired with the PGA Tour and commissioner Jay Monahan to defame Reed “since he was 23 years old.”
Reed’s allegations in the 30-page complaint include “misreporting information with falsehood and/or reckless disregard for the truth, that is, with actual and constitutional malice, intentionally omitting relevant key material facts to mislead the public, and actively intending (Reed) to destroy. his reputation, create hatred, and a hostile work environment for him”.
“It is well known on tour that Mr. Reed has been abused and endured more than any other golfer by fans or spectators who were allowed to shout obscenities just to be glorified by NBC. golf A channel to do so,” the lawsuit reads. “[Chamblee] has become Golf Channel’s primary spokesperson and agent to push this defamatory agenda and cause severe harm to Mr. Reed, LIV and other golfers signed with LIV.”
In January 2020, Reed’s attorney sent Chamblee a cease and desist letter demanding that he not repeat allegations that Reed cheated during a tournament. Reed was punished with two strokes at the Hero World Challenge in 2019 to improve his bunker lie, but he claimed he had no intention of doing 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.
The complaint also disputes Chamblee’s remarks that Reed “would have no problem playing golf for Stalin, Hitler, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, and Vladimir Putin.”
“This statement is false because Mr. Reed never aligned himself with a ‘tyrannical, murderous leader.'” the suit reads. “He plays golf for LIV, which just happens to be funded by the PIF, which has invested in and funded some of the largest and most respected corporations in the nation and the world.
“This is akin to stating that LeBron James has aligned himself with a ‘tyrannical, murderous leader’ because he plays in the National Basketball Association, which has intricate ties to the People’s Republic of China, whose government is accused of current and ongoing genocide against the Muslim Uyghur people.”
Reed, 32, claims Chamblee’s views have led to fans heckling him and calling him a cheater at tournaments.
According to the complaint:
These induced personal attacks include but are not limited to: “Now on the tee the digger!”, “You suck!”, “You f….. ing suck!,” “You bastard!,” “You coward ! ,” “shovel!,” Why don’t you dig a grave and bury yourself in it!,” “You piece of shit!,” “No one likes you!,” Everyone hates you Reed!,” “Good luck digging! yourself out this one!,” “Where are your parents cowards?!”, “You cheater!”, “Cheater!,” “Everybody hates you cheater!,” “You’re going to miss this you cheater!,” “You’re cheating in college and on tour and you’re a piece of shit!,” “Beat the cheater’s ass!,” “Sorry Webb for having to play with the cheater! Who did you piss off?!,” “Why don’t you introduce your kids to their grandparents you ungrateful bitch?!” This is just a sample of what Defendants maliciously and willfully caused and promoted with actual malice.
Although a nine-time winner on the PGA Tour, Reed apparently sensed Monahan and the tour was after him.
The suit continues: “Despite his exceptional world-class golfing achievements, in June of 2022, Mr. Reed was constructively terminated as a member of the PGA Tour, as a result of threats made and actions taken by its (sic) Commissioner Jay Monahan and his PGA Tour, and signed with LIV Golf.”
The PGA Tour indefinitely suspended its members who played in the first LIV event in June without the tour’s consent. Reed didn’t join LIV until the second event of their eight-tournament schedule in North Plains, Oregon, last month. He was suspended as a result.
The lawsuit, which seeks more than $750 million in damages, was filed by Larry Klayman, founder of the conservative group Freedom Watch, who previously unsuccessfully filed defamation lawsuits on behalf of former US Senate candidate Roy Moore. against the comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio against a phalanx of national media.