Nine-time PGA Tour winner Patrick Reed has threatened CNN with a $450 million lawsuit over defamatory comments made on air by anchor Jake Tapper and veteran sportscaster Bob Costas which Reed’s lawyers alleged were “designed to incite ridicule, hatred and violence” against Reed and other LIV Golf players.
A letter from Reed’s attorneys, Klayman’s Law Group, obtained on Tuesday by Golf Monthly, demands a public apology within five days over comments made by Tapper and Costas during a segment last week about LIV Golf.
“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,'” the letter 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.”
Reed and several other top PGA Tour members made the switch to LIV Golf this summer despite The Tour’s threats to suspend players who did so. Reed joined in early June and competed alongside some former members, including Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson at the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club for the first LIV Golf Invitational in Portland.
Reed finished in third place and walked away with $1.275 million in prize money.
“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,” the 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?'”
CNN didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Reed previously filed a $750 million defamation lawsuit against Golf Channel and longtime commentator Brandel Chamblee, claiming that both parties “conspired” with the PGA Tour and commissioner Jay Monahan.
He later filed an $820 million amended lawsuit, according to a separate report from Golf Monthly.
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.