NFL star Reggie Bush is being sued for libel and slander over the highly publicized Heisman trophy scandal.
The Blast obtained the court documents that show that the former football running back is now on the receiving end of a lawsuit for libel and slander.
NFL Star Reggie Bush Sued For Libel and Slander
Reggie Bush won the Heisman Trophy back in 2005, along with the Doak Walker and Walter Camp awards. However, allegations surfaced that he received improper benefits during an NCAA investigation of the University of Southern California football program.
The investigation eventually led to severe NCAA sanctions against USC, which resulted in a two-year postseason ban. As a result of the scandal, Bush voluntarily gave up his Heisman trophy.
Lloyd Lake later filed a lawsuit against Bush to reclaim almost $300,000 in cash and gifts that Bush and his family allegedly accepted while he was playing football at USC. Michael Michaels, Lake’s former partner, reached an out-of-court settlement with Bush’s family in April 2007.
In 2010, Lake’s attorney, Brian Watkins, called out Bush for allegedly “buying his silence,” as reported by ESPN. “Basically Reggie Bush bought his silence for $300,000, so he was unable to speak to the media, and, of course, cooperate with the NCAA,” Watkins said at the time. “Reggie Bush always has maintained he didn’t do anything wrong, so it will be very interesting to see if Michael Michaels’ testimony corroborates that of Reggie Bush or contradicts it.”
Lloyd Lake Claims That Bush Defamed Him During 2022 Interview
Now, thirteen years later, a new conflict has arisen between Lake and Bush. In court documents obtained by The Blast, Lake claims that he and Bush resolved their differences in 2012. However, Lake is accusing Bush of libel and slander in a separate incident that occurred in September 2022.
According to the court documents, “On Sept 26, 2022, I Am Athlete released a one-hour and eight-minute interview with Reginald Bush on YouTube entitled ‘Reggie Bush: ‘Give Me My Heisman Back.’” During that interview, Lake alleges that Reggie Bush “repeatedly and unambiguously disparaged and defamed” Lake.
The court papers state: “Despite having known Mr. Lake since childhood, defendant Bush denied knowing Mr. Lake. Bush further claimed that Mr. Lake was trying to ‘blackmail’ him. This allegation is blatantly false. Further, Bush knows that Mr. Lake’s police record is not as long as a ‘Cheesecake Factory menu,’” which was a comment made during the interview.
According to the lawsuit, “The express purpose of Bush in making the slanderous comments was to harm Mr. Lake’s reputation and cause Mr. Lake to suffer severe reputational damage.”
The documents go on to state that “Bush had a duty to avoid defaming Mr. Lake, a private citizen, not involved in Bush’s life in any fashion since resolving their differences in 2012, and Bush’s failure caused Mr. Lake serious injury.”
Lake says that “Defendant Bush’s conduct of maliciously and deliberately slandering the Plaintiff with statements that he knew were absolutely false” and is asking a court to award him compensatory, general, and punitive damages.
Reggie Bush Sends A Warning To NCAA In Lengthy Twitter Thread
NCAA paid $8 million quietly behind closed doors trying to clean up their mistakes. I understand why you signed that non disclosure agreement Mark Emmert but I would like you to know your secret is not safe. After all these years they are still scared of #5✌🏾 pic.twitter.com/uTc3pabKup
— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) December 17, 2022
As reported by Larry Brown Sports, Reggie Bush was pretty vocal about his criticism of the NCAA in December 2022. In the lengthy Twitter thread, Bush implied that the NCAA paid $8 million to an unknown source to conceal alleged mistakes they made during the USC investigation. He warned outgoing president Mark Emmert that his “secret is not safe.”
In a since-deleted tweet, Bush wrote, “I wonder why the NCAA has gone quiet on me? They had a lot to say last year. These are some pretty serious allegations. Don’t run now Mark, the party is just getting started! Mark Emmert is liar, a conman, a thief, but most importantly he is a coward. Hello Heisman Trust.”
We got the receipts 🧾
— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) December 20, 2022
In another deleted tweet, he added, “The truth is the NCAA’s ONLY WITNESS is a convicted felon who was in prison for rape, months before he sat down with the NCAA to spread more lies, which they believed. And now they are paying for it, LITERALLY. $8M’s sheesh how do you guys look yourselves in the mirror?”
At the same time, he also posted a short tweet that read, “We got the receipts.”