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What is the reason for Jimmy Kimmel’s legal threat against Aaron Rodgers

On Tuesday night, late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel publicly criticized Aaron Rodgers on social media, alleging that the NFL quarterback endangered his family and declaring his intention to take legal action against him.

These remarks on X, the platform previously known as Twitter, represent the most recent development in an ongoing dispute between these two high-profile personalities, which seems to be reaching a critical point.

What prompted Jimmy Kimmel to lash out at Rodgers on social media?

The confrontation between Kimmel and Rodgers escalated on Tuesday when Kimmel, whose show airs on ABC, vehemently responded to comments made earlier that day by Rodgers during an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” on ESPN.

During the interview, the topic of the imminent release of a list of names associated with convicted sexual abuser Jeffrey Epstein was brought up by McAfee’s co-host, A.J. Hawk.

The documents are related to a 2015 civil defamation lawsuit regarding the alleged facilitation of the sexual abuse of Virginia Giuffre by Epstein’s former companion, Ghislaine Maxwell. Giuffre also accused Epstein, Maxwell, and Prince Andrew of orchestrating her involvement with several prominent men. Prince Andrew refuted these claims and insisted he had no recollection of meeting Giuffre. He subsequently settled another lawsuit she had filed against him.

In response to Hawk’s mention of the expected release of the documents, Rodgers sarcastically remarked, “There are many people, including Jimmy Kimmel, who are fervently hoping that information doesn’t come to light.” Rodgers, conducting the interview from his wine cellar, followed up by stating that he would be celebrating with a bottle of some sort once the list is revealed.

Kimmel reacted to Rodgers’ comments on social media on Tuesday night, asserting, “I want to make it clear that I have not met, traveled with, visited, or had any form of contact with Epstein. You will not find my name on any ‘list’ except the obviously fabricated nonsense that individuals like yourself, who have difficulty differentiating it from reality, promote. Your irresponsible statements have put my family at risk. If you persist, we will continue this debate in a legal setting.”

There are no known ties between Kimmel and Epstein

There has been no indication that Kimmel’s name is associated with the Epstein documents.

Most of the prominent names in the documents are already linked to Epstein in some manner; these connections include allegations of misconduct, employment by Epstein, travel on his aircraft, or visits to his residences, as reported by ABC News. Some were referenced during Maxwell’s 2021 criminal trial. In certain cases, the names solely appear in potential witness lists or proposed terms for electronic record searches.

Aaron Rodgers of the New York Jets looks on during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on Dec. 17, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Rich Storry/Getty Images, FILE

It is unclear why Rodgers mentioned Kimmel being on the list, but Kimmel previously ridiculed Rodgers’ remarks about the Epstein list on his own show in February.

During a February episode of “The Pat McAfee Show,” where Rodgers is a regular guest, he raised the topic of the Chinese spy balloon and UFOs, stating, “There are various other significant events occurring in the world. Have you heard about the impending release of the Epstein client list? It seems that there are files containing certain names that may soon be disclosed.”

At that time, Kimmel derided Rodgers’ comments on his late night program, labeling him a “conspiracy theorist” and suggesting, “It might be time to reconsider that concussion protocol, Aaron.”

McAfee referred to this incident on Tuesday when Rodgers referenced Kimmel, indicating, “Jimmy ridiculed him for it, and Aaron hasn’t forgotten about it.”

Have Kimmel and Rodgers exchanged words about other matters?

In addition to the critique Kimmel made of Rodgers last February, he has also commented on the New York Jets quarterback’s anti-vaccine position.

In November 2021, Kimmel quipped about Rodgers testing positive for COVID-19 and missing a game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The revelation that he had not been vaccinated came as a result of his positive test.

PHOTO: Host Jimmy Kimmel speaks at the Oscars in Los Angeles on March 4, 2018.

Host Jimmy Kimmel speaks at the Oscars in Los Angeles on March 4, 2018.

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, FILE

“It was reported that Aaron Rodgers sought homeopathic treatment over the summer instead of getting vaccinated,” Kimmel remarked, setting up a joke about the quarterback’s hairstyle. “Nothing says I rely on crystals for healing more than this haircut.”

The NFL ultimately imposed a $300,000 penalty on the Packers, while Rodgers was fined $14,650 for deceptive conduct concerning his vaccination status.

Rodgers, speaking on “The Pat McAfee Show” a few days after the fine, acknowledged that he remained firm in his stance on vaccination but apologized for misguiding people about his own vaccination status.

“I made statements that some people might have found to be misleading,” Rodgers admitted. “I take full responsibility for any confusion caused by those statements.”

ABC News made attempts to obtain comments from Rodgers’ agent, David Dunn, and the New York Jets, but did not receive an immediate response.

Disney is the parent company of ABC, ABC News and ESPN.

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