Fact Check

No, the Rittenhouses Haven't Sued Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg for Defamation

It's always prudent to check the source of a claim before sharing online "news."

Published Nov 28, 2021

KENOSHA, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 19:  Kyle Rittenhouse enters the courtroom to hear the verdicts in his trial prior to being found not guilty on all counts at the Kenosha County Courthouse on November 19, 2021 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse was found not guilty of all charges in the shooting of three demonstrators, killing two of them, during a night of unrest that erupted in Kenosha after a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back while being arrested in August 2020. Rittenhouse, from Antioch, Illinois, claimed self-defense who at the time of the shooting was armed with an assault rifle.  (Photo by Sean Krajacic - Pool/Getty Images) (Sean Krajacic - Pool/Getty Images)
Image Via Sean Krajacic - Pool/Getty Images
Claim:
The family of Kyle Rittenhouse has filed a $60 million defamation lawsuit against "The View" stars Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg.

Origin

On Nov. 27, 2021, messages began circulating on social media trumpeting the claim that Kyle Rittenhouse and family had filed a $60 million defamation lawsuit against "The View" stars Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg. This example was shared on Facebook: 

Rittenhouse file $60M defamation suit against joy behar and whoopi goldberg

This is an example of messages shared on Twitter:

rittenhouse defamation lawsuit satire

However, the claim that the Rittenhouses filed a $60 million defamation lawsuit against Behar and Goldberg is pure fiction. The bulk of the posts promulgating that claim linked to its original source, an article on Potatriots Unite, which is part of America's Last Line of Defense, or LLOD, a network of websites and social media accounts that describes its content as "parody, satire, and tomfoolery": 

Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site’s pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical.

As we previously reported, on Nov. 19, 2021, a jury in Kenosha, Wisconsin, acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse on all charges related to his involvement in fatal shootings during civil unrest that grew out of protests against racial injustice and police brutality in August 2020. Though there was much speculation following the verdict about the possibility that Rittenhouse could file defamation lawsuits against media outlets, as of this writing no such actions have been taken.

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.

David Emery is a Portland-based writer and editor with 25 years of experience fact-checking rumors, hoaxes, and contemporary legends.

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