Giants QB Manning denies fake-memorabilia claims
4/20/2017 1:36:00 PM
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning denied accusations Thursday that he knowingly provided fake game-used memorabilia to collectors.
"I've done nothing wrong and I have nothing to hide," Manning said.
The two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback turned over a potentially incriminating email earlier this month in connection with a lawsuit that claims Manning, the Giants and a team equipment manager knowingly provided memorabilia that was not worn in games.
Manning claims that the emails were "taken out of context" and that he's "more angry than anything" that his character is being called into question. The 36-year-old then said that because of pending litigation that he would not be able to answer questions or get into specific details about the lawsuit.
"I will say that I've never done what I've been accused of doing," Manning said. "I have no reason, nor have I ever had any reason, to do anything of that nature. ... And I know that when this is all done, everybody will see it the same way."
The email in question was included in a court filing in Bergen County (N.J.) Superior Court by the plaintiffs -- collectors Eric Inselberg, Michael Jakab and Sean Godown -- who first filed a lawsuit three years ago. The trial has been scheduled for Sept. 25.
The email, obtained this week by the New York Post, shows an April 27, 2010 exchange between Manning and Giants head equipment manager Joe Skiba. Manning has a contract with memorabilia dealer Steiner Sports and his marketing agent had requested two game-used helmets as part of the agreement.
"2 helmets that can pass as game used. That is it. Eli," Manning wrote to Skiba, according to the documents.
The lawsuit alleges an elaborate scheme to produce, pass off and sell memorabilia as game-used that was not. The suit also alleges that the Giants were complicit by deleting the email from their accounts.