Favre is accusing two national sports broadcasters and a state auditor of defaming him in public discussions about Social Security misappropriation.

JACKSON, Miss. — Retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre filed a lawsuit Thursday in Mississippi, accusing the state auditor and two national sports broadcasters of defaming him in public discussions about purposeless spending of social money which was supposed to help some of the poorest people in one of the poorest states in the country.

The lawsuit against auditor Shad White says the Republican “conducted an outrageous media campaign of malicious and false allegations against Brett Favre — a Hall of Fame quarterback and Mississippi native — in a brazen attempt to garner the media attention Favre’s celebrity attracts. to further his political career.”

In a separate lawsuit against former NFL player Shannon Sharpe, Favre said Sharpe made “flagrantly false” statements about him on the Fox Sports talk show “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed,” including that Favre “stole money from people who really needed money.”

And in another lawsuit against retired NFL player Pat McAfee, Favre said McAfee used “blatant lies,” including calling Favre a “thief” who “steals from poor people in Mississippi.”

Favre faces no criminal charges Mississippi welfare scandalbut he is among more than three dozen people or businesses the state is suing to try to recover money misspent through the Temporary Assistance for Low-Income Families program.

Favre returned $1.1 million he received a speaking fee from a nonprofit group that spent TANF money with the authorization of the Mississippi Department of Human Services. White said Favre never showed up to give speeches.

In December, the State Department of Social Services made a new demand up to $5 million against Favre and the university’s athletic foundation, alleging that Social Security money was improperly used to pay for a volleyball arena at Favre’s alma mater, the University of Southern Mississippi.

Favre’s daughter started varsity volleyball in 2017. The volleyball court was a favorite project of the retired defenseman, and he pledged to spearhead fundraising for it. Preliminary filings in the state’s civil lawsuit show text messages exchanged between Favre and others about sending money to the volleyball complex from a nonprofit that had contracts with the Department of Human Services.

The Associated Press emailed a McAfee representative Thursday and left phone messages for Sharp seeking comment on the defamation claims. They did not answer immediately.

Favre’s lawsuit, filed against the auditor on Thursday, accuses White of “shamelessly and falsely attacking Favre’s good name” to draw attention to himself, “including appearances on television shows on CNN and HBO, a popular ESPN podcast, and interviews for print and online. mass media. None of this national media would have paid any attention to White if he hadn’t attacked Favre.”

Fletcher Freeman, White’s spokesman, said in a statement: “Everything Auditor White has said about this case is true and is backed up by years of audit work by professionals from the State Auditor’s Office. It’s stunning that Mr. Favre wants to go to trial on this matter.”

Freeman also said Favre called White and the auditor’s team liars despite returning some of the money the auditor’s office demanded from him.

“He also claimed the auditors were liars, despite clear documentary evidence that he benefited from misspent funds,” Freeman said. “Instead of paying the New York lawsuits to handle this case, he would be better off paying back the full amount of social security funds he owes the state.”


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