UPDATE: Project Veritas will RECOVER thousands of dollars from Wentz, and will also obtain more information in additional discovery requests about a coordinated effort to bring multiple lawsuits against Veritas. Stay tuned for updates…
The Federal Courts have once again vindicated Project Veritas and our methods. Today, a Federal Judge in Florida ruled totally in our favor in a case brought by a man named Steve Wentz.
In June of 2016, Project Veritas released a video where Steve Wentz, President of the Wichita Teachers Union made outrageous comments about how he treats students who give him trouble.
Here is one of Wentz’ statements in the video:
Wentz: You want to kick my ass? You really think I’m a motherf**ker? Son, go for it. I’ll give you the first shot. But be sure to finish what you start because if you don’t, I guarantee you, I will kick your f**king ass.
In June of 2017, Wentz filed a 66-page lawsuit in a U.S. District Court in Florida. He said we recorded him illegally and that we defamed him. He told the Wichita Eagle at the time, quote, “It’s a lie and it is something that needs to be addressed,” unquote. Well, today the Judge in Florida addressed it, throwing Wentz’s case in the garbage.
“Wentz is unable to sufficiently identify a false statement published by defendants that plausibly supports his defamation claims.”
“…the edits do not improperly and illegally alter the meaning of Wentz’s words…”
“Notably, many of the alleged defamatory statements made by Project Veritas and O’Keefe, both in the Wentz Video and the written content, are recitations of Wentz’s own admitted actions and statements.”
“…Defendants did not commit defamatory acts against Wentz and did not illegally record conversations…
The videos were ruled real.
There was no reasonable expectation of privacy.
The videos were not edited out of context.
“Thus, the Court will grant summary judgement in favor of Project Veritas and O’Keefe.”
As hard as it was to spend the roughly $350,000 defending ourselves in this case, it was worth every penny. We could have settled this case out of court. But that is not what we do. We fight, we fight for the 1st Amendment and the truth. Principles matter. I can assure you right now; we will never surrender our principles. And we will never settle.
About Project Veritas
Project Veritas is a non-profit investigative news organization conducting undercover reporting. Project Veritas investigates and exposes corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct in both public and private institutions to achieve a more ethical and transparent society. Project Veritas is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.