New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning already faced a lawsuit accusing him of marketing fake game-worn gear. Now, according to court documents, those suing him say they have evidence that the two-time Super Bowl MVP intentionally did so.
The New York Post reports that Manning instructed a team manager to get bogus “game” equipment so he could submit the items to memorabilia dealer Steiner Sports, which has a contract with the Giants quarterback.
“2 helmets that can pass as game-used. That is it. Eli,” Manning wrote to equipment manager Joe Skiba from a BlackBerry on April 27, 2010, according to the documents.
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning instructed a team manager to get bogus game equipment so he could submitted the items to memorabilia dealer Steiner Sports, which has a contract with the Giants quarterback.
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In an exchange less than 20 minutes later, Manning wrote to his marketing agent, Alan Zucker, who had requested the helmets: “Should be able to get them for tomorrow.”
The emails were included Tuesday as part of the latest filing in New Jersey’s Bergen County Superior Court. Three memorabilia collectors have an ongoing civil racketeering suit against Manning, the Giants, Skiba, Steiner Sports and others, including team co-owner John Mara.
Related court papers allege the emails prove “Manning was looking to give non-game-used helmets to Steiner to satisfy – fraudulently – his contractual obligation” with Steiner.
The suit, initially filed in 2014 by plaintiff Eric Inselberg, is set for trial Sept. 25.
Eli Manning is well known for his integrity and this is just the latest misguided attempt to defame his character.
lawyers for the New York Giants
Inselberg was among six memorabilia dealers charged by the feds in 2011 for selling fake game-used jerseys.
Other defendants all pleaded guilty, but Inselberg won a dismissal by claiming his indictment was the product of lies to the grand jury by witnesses who included Skiba and two other Giants employees.
Lawyers for the Giants, in a statement, said: “The email, taken out of context, was shared with the media by an unscrupulous memorabilia dealer and his counsel who for years has been seeking to leverage a big payday.
“Eli Manning is well known for his integrity and this is just the latest misguided attempt to defame his character.”