Brett Favre is suing Pat McAfee for defamation, and his lawyer wants the YouTube/podcast host to start taking the case seriously.
Last week, Favre (seen above) and his lawyer Eric Herschmann filed three defamation lawsuits against McAfee, Shannon Sharpe, and Mississippi state auditor Shad White. Immediately after those lawsuits were made public, McAfee turned it into content for his podcast with a fiery response in which he said he doesn’t have lawyers, but looks forward to seeing Favre in court.
Brett Favre’s lawyer Eric Herschmann told Jason Whitlock he believes the defamation suit will cost Pat McAfee “millions of dollars.” pic.twitter.com/DnWWnV0gtm
— Ryan Glasspiegel (@sportsrapport) February 15, 2023
“It’s obvious when you listen to Pat McAfee, he never read any of the complaints,” Herschmann told Whitlock. “He didn’t read the motion to dismiss, he just decided to get on his show and try to get as much attention as he could. And he accuses Brett, so we’re clear, about stealing from the poor in Mississippi.”
Favre was allegedly involved in the widely reported Mississippi welfare scandal, with the former Green Bay Packers quarterback being accused of improperly receiving funds from the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. In November, McAfee called on the media to mention Favre’s scandal every time his name is brought up.
“For the information that we have currently, we have to mention he tied the hands of poor people and took money right out of their pockets,” McAfee said in November, while also noting Favre was denying the accusations.
Last year, the state of Mississippi filed a civil lawsuit against Favre and others to recover more than $20 million of misspent welfare funds. Favre has claimed he had no way of knowing the funds he advocated to be used for a new volleyball facility at the University of Southern Mississippi, where his daughter played, came from the state’s welfare fund. However, in September, Adam Ganucheau of the nonprofit media outlet Mississippi Today published text messages from Favre, where he showed concern about the media finding out where the funds for the project came from.
“[McAfee], contrary to what Shannon Sharpe was probably told, ‘this is a good time to keep your mouth shut,’ decided to go on and speak again and make a joke that he doesn’t have a lawyer and that his wife says he’s really terrible about apologizing,” Herschmann continued to Whitlock. “Well, I guarantee you the jury in Mississippi will make certain he learns how to apologize. It’s going to cost Pat McAfee millions of dollars. And if it bankrupts him, then he will have learned his lesson about you don’t try to promote yourself by inappropriately and improperly attacking somebody else.”
Favre appears to believe McAfee and others went too far in criticizing his alleged involvement in the Mississippi welfare scandal. But proving that will be difficult and could result in the accused quarterback getting questioned under oath. The U.S. has a heightened standard for defamation when it comes to public figures, such as Favre, which requires him to demonstrate the defendant (McAfee) acted with actual malice.
Update: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated Favre was accused of personally misallocating the state funds. The lawsuit accuses him of receiving the funds.