LIV Golf's Patrick Reed claims that Golf Channel and commentator Brandel Chamblee are conspiring with the PGA Tour and others to defame him. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Patrick Reed sued Golf Channel and commentator Brandel Chamblee for defamation, claiming they "conspired" to defame him and other LIV Golf players, court filings show. He seeks $750 million in damages.
Reed filed the civil lawsuit Tuesday in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas' Houston division. He asked for a jury trial.
NBC Sports Group, which owns Golf Channel, declined to comment. Chamblee did not respond to messages left on his phone.
LIV Golf has faced constant criticism from the PGA Tour and some golf fans since the breakaway, Saudi-backed golf competition launched two months ago. They often cited Saudi Arabia's poor human rights record.
The PGA Tour announced in June that members who participate without consent in LIV Golf events would be suspended.
In Tuesday's filings, Reed's lawyers state that it is "evident" that Golf Channel and Chamblee "have conspired with the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour" and they "continue to use the same and or similar tactics to defame other LIV players, and LIV, with the intention to destroy them and their families professionally and personally."
The lawyers contend that those efforts are intended to "eliminate" LIV Golf and its participants as "competitors to the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour."
Reed's lawyers also said that Golf Channel and Chamblee conspired with PGA Tour and commissioner Jay Monahan to defame him for nine years, since the player was 23. They also cited several instances of Chamblee calling him a cheater in golf tournaments, a claim Reed denies.
The filings say that Golf Channel and Chamblee allegedly "misreported information with falsity and/or reckless disregard of the truth" with malice and "purposely omitted pertinent, key material facts to mislead the public."
Reed's lawyers claim Golf Channel and Chamblee are "actively targeting" him to "destroy his reputation, create hate, and a hostile work environment" and have "the intention to discredit his name and accomplishments as a young, elite, world-class golfer, and the good and caring person, husband and father of two children, he is."
Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman of the Northern District of California denied a motion for a temporary restraining order from three LIV Golf participants, who tried to overturn a PGA Tour suspension and enter the FedExCup Playoffs.
Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones were among the 11 competitors from the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series who filed an antitrust lawsuit against the Tour two weeks ago, but were the only plaintiffs to request entrance to the FedExCup Playoffs.
In the latter issue, which isn't expected to be heard in court until next year, all 11 plaintiffs seek to overturn their suspensions and compete in PGA Tour events.
Reed is not among those 11 plaintiffs.
On Tuesday, golfer Tiger Woods met with several top golfers to talk about the future of the PGA Tour, several players told reporters Tuesday at news conferences.
"I think it's good that a lot of the players are getting together to discuss the situation out here," golfer Patrick Cantlay said in his news conference at the BMW Championship on Tuesday in Wilmington, Del.
The FedExCup Playoffs will continue with the BMW Championship on Thursday in Wilmington. The second tournament of the three-leg playoff system will run through Sunday at Wilmington Country Club.
The LIV Golf Series will continue with LIV Golf Boston from Sept. 2 through 4 at The International in Bolton, Ma.
Swedish Golfer Henrik Stenson (C) raises the trophy on the podium after winning the individual competition at the LIV Golf invitational at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., on July 31. Photo by Peter Foley/UPI | License Photo