“I have 40 pounds to lose. It is not the fault of the fast food people…and anyone who’s trying to sue the fast food places needs a therapist, not an attorney.” -Richard Simmons
Former Mad TV actor Pat Kilbane is suing SOFREP.com over the Inside The Team Room: U.S. Navy SEALs video that featured former Navy SEALs Chris Kyle, Brandon Webb, and Chris Osman, with Kilbane moderating. He filed suit in Los Angeles, CA on January 2014.
I think that Pat Kilbane honestly thought he could send us a letter, and that we would give him some “go away” money. He couldn’t be more wrong. We aren’t rolling over and hiding from this. We are embracing it full on, and want the SOFREP community’s help.
The Video In Question
The guys and I first started SOFREP.com two years ago I wanted to do something cool for the site. I called SEAL authors and friends Chris Kyle and Marcus Luttrell and asked them if they would help me with a video that I wanted to call “Inside the Team Room: U.S. Navy SEALs.” Both said yes and were enthusiastic about it.
I quickly realized that I didn’t know crap about video production, but that wasn’t going to stop me. I’ve been through deployments to Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan, and I wasn’t about to let this get the better of me. I knew how to structure the concept, the environment, and the conversation, but I needed help getting connected with solid camera, sound, and post-production professionals. The only experience I had in production up to this point was helping with some screen writing on a National Geographic documentary with my best friend, Glen Doherty (KIA Benghazi 2012).
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I needed help and called my now-former friend in Los Angeles who had some experience in the production world, Pat Kilbane. I first met Kilbane through my friend Travis Lively, whom many of you know from the show “BUD/S 234″ featured on Discovery Channel. I considered Pat Kilbane a friend at the time, and went out of my way to help him with several of his personal projects. This included hand-walking a book proposal of his into an editor’s office at my publisher, St. Martin’s Press, in New York.
I asked Pat Kilbane if he wanted to help me with the production, and told him there was no money in it, but that I’d pay for all production costs including his hotel in San Diego. I did tell him the same thing I told Luttrell and Chris Kyle – that if the video itself picked up any direct sponsors that I would give everyone an equal split after recouping the production expenses. SOFREP was in its infancy at the time and I was self-funding the business out of my own pocket, and didn’t have money to pay any of the guys. It was a project between friends. He agreed and I started getting to work.
A few days before we were set to shoot the show, Marcus called and said he had to back out because his grandfather had passed away. I called my friend Chris Osman, who agreed to stand in last minute; Chris and I were in BUD/S 215 together, and shared a deployment to Afghanistan in 2001-02. Osman is a close friend, and I thought he’d make a great addition to the show.
By the time we completed post-production, I had been unsuccessful at attracting any sponsors for the video. I called everyone, including Kilbane, and said, “Let’s put it up on the site and see what happens.” Everyone agreed, and the video went up on the SOFREP.com.
It’s hard to put into words, but things got really weird between between Pat Kilbane and I after that video went up on the site and it became popular. I’m sure some of you know what I mean. It got especially strange between us when SOFREP started landing our first big sponsors for the website.
Pat also called me to discuss a situation where he was considering taking legal action against a TV production company he was working with at the time. Kilbane’s talk of suing his production company and others made me nervous. I didn’t want to work with him anymore, and wanted to get far away as possible. He even assured me via email that he would never sue me or the company. It was shortly after my telephone conversation with him when I decided it was best that we go our separate ways. It’s a decision I’m glad I made to this day.
Pat now claims that SOFREP owes him money, and that among other things, his participation in “Inside The Team Room: U.S. Navy SEALs” is what made SOFREP successful. The guys and I disagree with Kilbane’s claim. We put our blood, sweat and tears into this site, and we aren’t running from what we consider to be a frivolous legal claim.
It’s a shame that someone who never served in the military or the Special Operations community is now seeking to profit off a video featuring SEAL teammates sharing their experiences. This project was intended to bring friends together and to share our personal stories. It was never about money.
“Kilbane has made a career out of threatening legal action in Hollywood, and getting folks to settle.” -Anonymous Los Angeles TV/Film Professional
“As a Corporate Executive, credited TV host, and former Navy SEAL, I am troubled by Pat’s current claims as they appear to lack not only professional merit, but also lack personal sensitivity with regard to the legacy of my friend Chris Kyle. I had personal conversations with Chris Kyle about this Team Room video at the 2013 SHOT show. Chris told me he did this with SOFREP because it was an opportunity to hang out with teammates over beers, reminisce, and support the guys at SOFREP.com with a cool project. It was never about money.” -Travis Lively
We don’t plan on settling, Pat. You see, there’s a bit of a problem – this is SOFREP, and we have our reputation to consider.
Chris Kyle made the video with us as a friend because he wanted to do something special with his teammates and the SOFREP community. And when I think about all the fallen brothers I’ve lost throughout the years, and what they would do in this situation, they would want us to stand and fight for what’s right. So SOFREP and I are aggressively fighting Kilbane’s claim, and we are asking you to join us.
One of the reasons big companies settle lawsuits is that it’s usually cheaper to just settle right away because it’s expensive for people and small businesses to stand up for what is right, but we can do this if we stand together.
How can you help? We are accepting donations to our “Fight Kilbane” fund now. The guys and I appreciate all the support. All monies that come from a victory over Kilbane or surplus will be given to military charities. Our teammates in this campaign (that’s you) will be put on a special email list and kept informed of our progress monthly.
Thanks for your support.
Brandon Webb, Former Navy SEAL & Editor SOFREP.com
(Featured Image Courtesy: CNN)
.... oh shit !?, you said "people" and threw me completely off track!
BrandonWebb engelbrad Haha yeah Chief, like Blake says, you didn't build that lol. Beat Pat down with facts, truth is the only merit that has any value these days.
Brandon, keep up the fight (like you would quit). Just amazing how low someone will go even after you worked with him in good faith, told him up front about the money situation, and explained that if a sponsor appears he would be compensated.Guys like this need a visit in the dark of the night, just to say HEY.
I had no idea who Pat Kilbane was until I just goggled him. I saw the video when it came out and never knew who the moderator was. In fact after looking him up I still have no clue who he is. So he had nothing to do with me become a fan and supporter of Sofrep almost 2 years ago. I migrated here because I'm a veteran and I learned really fast that we agree on just about everything you written or talked about on this site. I'm no attourney but I would think all yours would have to do is get a deposition from the sites members to prove that Pat's claim that he made Sofrep is unfounded.
From the podcast comments on today (6-3-2014): First, as always... great show! Second, as a civilian, I can't let our Warriors know enough how disgraceful and disgusting Pat Kilbane's law suit is. While there are a few bad civilian apples out there, most of us civies truly understand and sincerely appreciate the Sacrifice and Heroism of our Warriors. We have no tolerance for civilians that disrespect or don't appreciate the Men and Women that have served our Great Nation. I'm calling on the civilians here on SOFREP to show that we will not stand for our Vets being targeted or mistreated under any circumstance. I propose we make a contribution (or another contribution in a lot of cases) and put "Civilian Corner" in the 'Additional Comments' box. I'm all done with nipples like Pat giving us a bad rep to our Warriors and I'm sick of Vet's getting the shaft. Hopefully every dollar will go to the charities but let's show our Warriors here that the bench is strong and should never be fucked with. Let's have their backs this time! Read more: http://sofrep.com/sofrep-radio/episode-95-pat-kilbane-sues-veterans-former-navy-seal-drago-mike-ritland-eric-davis-discuss-pat-kilbane-lawsuit-brandon-webb/#ixzz33dfdci2M