A plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against Pat Robertson says the televangelist threatened his life and that of his family at a legal proceeding Wednesday in the Norfolk federal courthouse.
The accuser, Phillip Busch, is suing Robertson for misappropriation of his image in the promotion of Robertson's protein diet shake.
According to a complaint Busch filed with the Norfolk police, Robertson entered a room in the courthouse Wednesday afternoon to be questioned for a deposition - an out-of-court form of testimony - and told Busch: "I am going to kill you and your family."
This is not the first time Robertson has been accused of threatening an adversary.
After the failure of an earlier Robertson commercial venture - a multilevel sales outlet for Bible study courses and discount coupon books - the broadcaster fired Mark Peterson, the venture's top executive. The two blamed each other for the business' failure in what became a public feud.
Peterson sued Robertson in 1995, alleging that Robertson made a veiled death threat in a telephone conversation with Peterson's sister.
"Pam, you give your brother this message from me," Robertson was alleged to have said. "Wild horses that kick and destroy things without a bit in their mouth have to be put down. They have to be shot. You tell him that." Robertson denied making a threat.