Tag Archive settlement

Settlement reached for sermon comments — $490,000 settlement

by: Virginia Lawyers Weekly
Posted: Feb 12, 2024

Type of action: Defamation

Injuries alleged: Injury to reputation; embarrassment, humiliation and mental suffering

Name of case: Reece v. Kelly, et al.

Court: Virginia Beach Circuit Court

Case no.: CL20-2711

Date resolved: 7/7/2023

Verdict or settlement: Settlement

Amount: $490,000

Attorney for plaintiff: Rhiannon Jordan, Chesapeake

Description of case: On April 19, 2023, Stephen Kelly gave a sermon, a portion of which was of and concerning Larry and Nell Reece, also pastors of a church. This sermon was published live to the congregation as well as streamed live on the Wave Church web page. This sermon was later posted to Facebook and other social media platforms. During this sermon Kelly accused the Reeces of making race-based threats and being told to leave Wave Church. The Reeces maintain that these allegations are entirely false. The settlement of this case was a result of compromise and not an admission of liability or responsibility.

Plaintiff’s counsel Rhiannon Jordan provided case information.