Brett Favre files lawsuit against Pat McAfee and Shannon Sharpe
Former NFL player and Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre State Auditor Shad White filed three defamation lawsuits this week, along with sportscasters and former NFL players Shannon Sharpe and Pat McAfee. ESPN. Favre was recently involved in a welfare fraud scandal in his home state of Mississippi, in which misappropriated funds were supposed to go to the Mississippi Department of Human Services, but instead allegedly went toward building a volleyball stadium at his alma mater, the University of the University. South Mississippi. He was also reportedly paid $1.1 million to speak on behalf of the state health department, but reportedly failed to show up for those engagements ( via PBS).
Brett Favre files defamation lawsuit amid welfare scandal
The scandal involving Favre is the largest welfare fraud scandal in Mississippi state history. No criminal proceedings were initiated against the former football player. Favre is now firing back at White, whose office discovered the fraudulent spending, which led to criminal charges against six people, Favre not among them.
According to ESPN’s report, Favre’s lawsuit states, “White made blatantly false and defamatory statements accusing Favre of ‘stealing taxpayer money’ and knowingly misappropriating ‘funds intended to serve poor people.’
Fletcher Freeman, a spokesman for White’s State Auditor’s Office, said in response to the lawsuit: “Everything Auditor White has said about this case is true and is supported by years of audit work by State Auditor’s professionals.”
In 2020, Auditor White’s office discovered that $77 million in public funds from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, intended for the state’s neediest families, instead went to Mississippi’s wealthiest and most powerful residents. Favre and several others were named as defendants in a state audit and civil lawsuit where Favre was paid $1.1 million in TANF funds for speeches that White’s office says Favre never gave. Favre reportedly repaid that money, but the office also asked Favre to pay $228,000 in interest.
As for the volleyball stadium, the text messages show Favre pushed for state officials to fund a new volleyball facility on the University of Southern Mississippi campus while his daughter was on the team.
Freeman also added that Favre “would be better off fully relegating the amount of welfare funds owed to the state” rather than having New York litigants try his defamation case against White. Meanwhile, Favre’s attorneys say they have seen “no records indicating that Mr. Favre knew” that money for the speeches or his alma mater came from Mississippi’s TANF fund.
In a separate lawsuit against Sharpe, an NFL Pro Football Hall of Famer, who currently hosts “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed” on FOX Sports 1, is the target of a defamation lawsuit for saying Favre “sorry he stole the lowest of of the lowest.” He also takes aim at Sharpe for saying Favre “stole money from people who really needed that money.”
In the former NFL player and “The Pat McAfee Show” host’s lawsuit against McAfee, Favre alleges defamation when McAfee called Favre a “thief” who “stole from poor people in Mississippi.” The legal filing also notes that McAfee made similar comments on his Twitter account. In addition to hosting his own YouTube podcast, McAfee also serves as a broadcaster for “College Gameday” and WWE events.
The ESPN report also notes that Favre’s alma mater was the largest recipient of his charitable donations, according to tax records. Additionally, the state audit revealed that Prevacus, an anti-concussion drug company in which Favre is the top outside investor, also received funding from TANF.
Favre retired from the NFL in January 2011. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the 2016 recruiting class.
The lawsuit against Favre Sharpe, a 14-season NFL veteran who currently co-hosts Fox Sports 1’s “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed,” alleges that Sharpe defamed Favre by saying on his broadcast that Favre was a “deplorable mofo, to steal from’ the lowest of the low’ and that Favre ‘stole money from people who really needed that money’.