Kyle Rittenhouse hasn’t sued Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar or CNN
CLAIM: Kyle Rittenhouse has filed a $60 million defamation lawsuit against Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar, both hosts of “The View.” He has also filed a suit against CNN.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Rittenhouse has not filed a lawsuit against any individual or organization, his spokesperson told The Associated Press.
THE FACTS: Social media posts circulating over the weekend falsely claimed that Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old who was recently acquitted of homicide charges after shooting three people during a protest in Wisconsin, had filed the defamation suits.
“Kyle Rittenhouse has filed a $60 million defamation lawsuit against the View’s Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg. Let the games begin,” reads one Facebook post that was shared thousands of times and garnered over 540,000 views.
The claim about the suit against the two “The View” co-hosts also appeared widely on Twitter. Other users on Twitter separately claimed that Rittenhouse had sued CNN.
But both claims are false, according to David Hancock, a spokesperson for the Rittenhouse family.
“None of them are true,” Hancock told the AP. “The Rittenhouse team, Kyle and the rest of his lawyers, have not filed any legal actions against any organizations or any person in particular.”
A Twitter account for the Free Kyle defense fund, which Hancock confirmed is tied to a fundraising effort launched by Rittenhouse’s mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, specifically rebutted the CNN claim.
“As of now, the Rittenhouse team has NOT filed any legal actions against media organizations...,” a tweet issued from the account on Saturday states.
Asked if Rittenhouse had any plans to file defamation lawsuits in the future, Hancock said it is “not a bridge that has been crossed yet.”
“It could be possible in the future, but I would say that nobody is sitting around planning anything,” he added.
Rittenhouse fatally shot two men and injured a third during a night of protests against police brutality in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020. He was tried on charges including first-degree reckless homicide. Rittenhouse argued that he fired in self-defense after being attacked, and a jury acquitted him on all charges on Nov. 19.
This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.