Heisman Trophy Scandal Redux: NFL Star Reggie Bush Sued for Libel and Slander | VIDEO

Reggie Bush - GettyImages
Reggie Bush – GettyImages

*The Heisman Trophy scandal is not resting in peace anytime soon. Court documents indicate that Reggie Bush, one of the actors in this never-ending drama, has been sued for libel and slander.

Let’s take a walk down memory lane to put things into perspective. In 2005, Bush won the Heisman Trophy as well as the Walter Camp and Doak Walker awards, and people celebrated. But the celebration didn’t last long. Soon, rumors began to spread that he had received underserved benefits during an NCAA investigation of the University of Southern California football program.

At the end of the investigation, NCAA found reasons to sanction USC, which it did. USC suffered a two-year postseason ban. The scandal also led to Bush agreeing to give up the Heisman. But that didn’t stop Lloyd Lake from later filing a lawsuit against Bush to recover over $300,000 in cash plus gifts that Bush and his family were said to have accepted in the period he played football at USC.

In April 2007, Lake’s former partner Michael Michaels managed to reach an out-of-court settlement with Bush’s family, and the issue was laid to rest. But was it?

ESPN later reported in 2010 that Brian Watkins, Lake’s attorney, admonished Bush for allegedly “buying his silence.”

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Watkins had this to say at that time: “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. 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.”

End of flashback. So now, let’s return to the present, thirteen years later. A brand new legal war is brewing between Lake and Bush, according to The Blast. The two resolved their differences in 2012, but the new court documents show that Lake has freshly accused Bush of libel and slander. The lawsuit is related to a separate incident that happened in September 2022.

The court papers state that “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 claims Reggie Bush “repeatedly and unambiguously disparaged and defamed” him.

The lawsuit papers further read, “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.’”

The last bit refers to a comment made during the interview in question.

“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 lawsuit statement adds. “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.”

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