Media baron James Cox Kennedy, already owner of more than 3,000 acres in Montana, including both sides of an eight-mile stretch of the Ruby River, has filed a lawsuit this morning claiming that, in fact, he owns all of Montana.
“I had my attorneys check into it,” Cox says. “Turns out, I actually own the entire state.”
This is not the first time Kennedy has caused controversy in Big Sky Country. In the summer of 2005, Kennedy wrote a letter to the University of Montana stating that he would be making no further donations to the school until they changed the name of their football stadium from “Washington-Grizzly Stadium” to “James-Cox-Kennedy-Owns-The-Ruby-And-You-Don’t Stadium.”
Further controversy erupted in 2009 when Kennedy claimed that he owned the phrase “Big Sky Country” and appealed to the Montana Supreme Court to change the popular slogan to “Big Cox Country.”
But this latest claim is surely Kennedy’s most audacious. Apparently bolstered by last year’s District Court ruling that the public couldn’t access the Ruby from the Seyler Lane Bridge near Twin Bridges—which goes through Kennedy’s property—Kennedy is said to have responded with shock.
“We won?” Kennedy said. “No effin’ way! Well then, let’s bring a case that we own the riverbed, too! Wait, no—the riverbed, and the river, and the air above the river, so those dirty rafters can’t float by! Wait, no—didn’t my grandaddy buy me Montana back when he was guvnah of Ohio? He must’ve, right? File a claim that we own the state! I have six billion dollars for crissake!