At the end of March, Pat McAfee filed a motion to dismiss Brett Favre’s defamation case against him citing that it failed to properly allege that McAfee acted with “actual malice.”
Favre apparently answered that charge on Friday night, filing an amended defamation lawsuit against The Pat McAfee Show host.
“BREAKING: Brett Favre files amended defamation lawsuit vs. Pat McAfee, adds 7 new paragraphs of ‘actual malice’ allegations, and says McAfee knows the statements are false ‘because the lie is the point’ and ‘helps McAfee accumulate more social media views, likes, and followers,'” wrote The Athletic legal analyst Daniel Wallach.
BREAKING: Brett Favre files amended defamation lawsuit vs. Pat McAfee, adds 7 new paragraphs of “actual malice” allegations, and says McAfee knows the statements are false “because the lie is the point” and “helps McAfee accumulate more social media views, likes, and followers.” pic.twitter.com/Q4QAbAmQSS
— Daniel Wallach (@WALLACHLEGAL) April 15, 2023
Wallach also shared some pages from the lawsuit that includes Favre’s rationale for why McAfee caused the Hall of Fame quarterback harm in his discussion around the Mississippi welfare scandal that has tarnished his reputation.
“McAfee knew that—or had a high degree of awareness of the fact that—he had no basis for his false statements that Favre had stolen money from poor people,” reads the amended lawsuit. “No media report or anything or anyone else had stated that Favre had stolen any money from anyone. In fact, many of those same reports stated that criminal charges had been brought against certain of the defendants—but not against Favre.
“…Nor was it ever alleged or argued in the MDHS proceeding that Favre had ever knowingly received welfare funds—much less that Favre had ever stolen money from poor people in Mississippi.
“Thus, when McAfee uttered the remarks at issue, either (i) he knew that his remarks were fabrications and the products of his imagination or (ii) he harbored serious doubts about whether his remarks were true and in fact knew that they were probably false. Yet he uttered the remarks anyway, without caring whether he was speaking truthfully or falsely, ultimately to cast Favre in the worst possible light.
“…McAfee’s knowledge of Favre’s background, combined with McAfee’s awareness that there was no basis for stating that Favre had stolen money, caused McAfee to know that his statements were false or at a minimum to have a high degree of awareness that they were inherently improbable and probably false.”
Wallach added that the new filing “restarts the clock on McAfee’s new answer (due in 14 days).”
Favre filed defamation lawsuits against Pat McAfee, Fox Sports’ Shannon Sharpe, and Mississippi state auditor Shad White in February over comments they each made regarding the former NFL quarterback’s alleged involvement in a welfare scandal that saw millions of dollars meant for the state’s poorest citizens redirected to Favre as well as his alma mater, the University of Sothern Mississippi, for the construction of a volleyball complex.
Favre has denied any knowledge that he was aware of the welfare money’s intended purpose. Mississippi Today’s reporting has included text messages from him as well as then-Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant that seem to imply a different story.
Meanwhile, Favre’s lawyer, Eric Herschmann, has had some harsh words for McAfee in particular.
“Well, I guarantee you the jury in Mississippi will make certain he learns how to apologize,” Herschmann said in February. “It’s going to cost Pat McAfee millions of dollars, and if it bankrupts him then he will have learned his lesson.”
Last month, McAfee moved the case from Mississippi state court to federal court days before filing for the lawsuit to be dismissed.