Thursday September 28, 2023

Patrick Reed’s Legal Fight Continues Amid Pro Golf Peace

  • While PGA Tour and LIV Golf ended their legal fight, Reed's lawyer says his client will press on.
  • Reed has two active federal defamation lawsuits against nearly 20 defendants.
Patrick Reed
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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LIV Golf dropped its antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour. The PGA Tour dropped its counterclaim against LIV Golf. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund dropped its appeal. 

But some pending litigation didn’t end with the PGA Tour-LIV Golf partnership agreement: LIV golfer Patrick Reed’s defamation lawsuits against journalists and outlets.

Front Office Sports asked Reed’s attorney, Larry Klayman, if the deal aimed to reunify pro golf announced earlier this month put any pressure on his client to drop the cases. 

“There is no pressure and Patrick’s suits are unconnected to any proposed merger between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf,” responded Klayman, a conservative activist attorney known for filing several lawsuits against Bill Clinton. “They continue on.”

Two active lawsuits laid out similar claims that Reed was defamed. The 18 defendants in those two cases include The Associated Press, Bloomberg, Golf Channel and Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee. 

Reed seeks “in excess” of $1 billion in damages between the two cases. 

The PGA Tour’s alleged actions against LIV Golf were a major part of each case. 

“[The] defendants and the PGA Tour and its joint venture partner DP World Tour, have conspired and colluded to defame, smear, and harm anyone associated with LIV— including Mr. Reed, one of its most prominent athletes — in order to try to maintain their monopolistic hold on professional golf, and therefore continue to substantially profit, to the tune of an estimated $1.522 billion in revenue for the PGA Tour alone in 2021,”  Klayman wrote in an amended complaint against the AP, Bloomberg and Fox Sports. 

The parties have filed motions to dismiss the litigation — and one of the cases was initially dismissed by a federal judge in November. But the judge allowed Reed to amend that complaint against Golf Channel, Chamblee, Conde Nast and Gannett. 

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away … a public figure could bring a defamation suit without proving the challenged statements were false statements of fact published with actual malice,” Gannett’s lawyer wrote in a motion to dismiss filed earlier this year. “This is the fictional galaxy where Reed’s Amended complaint exists.”

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