TULSA, Okla. — The golden bear, Jack Nicklaus, is being sued by Nicklaus Companies.
On May 13, a lawsuit filed in the New York State Supreme Court against the 82-year-old golf legend alleged breach of contract with the Nicklaus Companies as well as tortious interference and breach of fiduciary duty.
The complaint was filed by Nicklaus Companies. Its executive chairman is Howard Milstein, a New York businessman, chairman, president and CEO of New York Private Bank & Trust. The lawsuit is Nicklaus Companies, LLC v. GBI Investors Inc. and Jack W. Nicklaus. Nicklaus is the principal of GBI Investors Inc., an architectural services firm.
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According to the complaint, Nicklaus was paid $145 million in 2007 to provide proprietary services and goods to Nicklaus companies, which over time he either failed to measure up or worked directly against the company. .
The complaint alleges three specific instances of Nicklaus’ breach, including receiving a substantial cash payment for promoting the 2022 Soudal Open, a recently played DP World Tour event in Belgium, wrongful conduct involving a video game in development with the Masters and the PGA Tour, and misconduct regarding negotiations with the PIF Saudi Investment Fund where Nicklaus was reportedly offered $100 million to join the startup LIV Golf Invitational Series.
“The claims made by Howard Milstein are false,” Nicklaus said in a statement released by his organization. “Our relationship has been rocky, at best. I have little doubt about the outcome, but I have no intention of making a public spectacle of it, if it can be avoided.