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Monday, May 27, 2024 | Back issues
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Discovery Channel Star Files Defamation Suit

(CN) - Joseph Teti, a special forces veteran who stars in the Discovery Channel's "Dual Survival" show, sued his former commander and others for allegedly spreading lies about his military service on the Internet.

In a lawsuit filed in the federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina, Teti says Mykel Hawkeye, who claims to have been his Special Forces Operational Detachments commander, has made false statements about him on Facebook and other website.

In addition, Teti says, Hawkeye has made similar defaming comments to the Discovery Channel itself, and to companies with whom he has endorsement deals.

In his complaint, Teti says these statements ranged from Hawkeye's having falsely claimed that Teti has violated the Stolen Valor Act; that Teti and his fiancé have threatened and harassed Hawkeye and his family; that Teti created false profiles online to attack Hawkeye; and that Teti has a history of stalking and "harming women, children, and animals."

The Discovery Channel star says none of these accusations are true.

Teti has also named George Davenport in the lawsuit. Davenport is a member of the nonprofit organization Special Forces Association, of which Teti used to be a member. According to the lawsuit, Teti ceased to be a member when his membership lapsed because he didn't pay his annual dues and renew his membership.

But Teti says Davenport told a far different story to the "Army Times" in a story entitled "'Dual Survival' star stripped of SF Association Membership.'"

In the article, Davenport allegedly said that Teti is an "embarrassment to the Regiment, because of falsehoods, lies and embellishments he's used in association with his Special Forces qualifications." Davenport claims to have checked with Special Forces and discovered that Teti did not attend. This, however, according to Teti's lawsuit, is untrue.

As a result of Davenport's false statements, the Special Forces Association has left the public to conclude that Teti's disassociation with the group was based on his conduct and not lapsed membership, the lawsuit states.

According to the complaint, Teti enlisted in the Marine Corps and served for several years on active duty. While on active duty in the Marine Corps, Teti completed the Special Forces Underwater Operations course. He left the Marines in 1986 with an honorable discharge and enlisted in the Army National Guard.

While enlisted with the Army, Teti met the requirements for the Military Operational Specialty 18B by graduating from the Special Forces Qualification Course at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the lawsuit states.

By graduating from the course, Teti earned the right to wear the Special Forces tab on his uniform. Soldiers who wear the tab are commonly called "Green Berets" or "Special Forces." He also was assigned as the weapons sergeant on a Special Forces Operational Detachments, Alpha in two Special Forces groups.

According to Teti's Discovery Channel biography and the lawsuit, he was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan where Teti faced fire from enemy combatants and was wounded.

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