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NFL Hall of Famer Favre sues...

NFL Hall of Famer Favre sues Mississippi State Auditor for defamation

By: Anne Summerhays - February 9, 2023

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2016, file photo, Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre is shown during a halftime ceremony of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke, File)

Favre also filed similar suits against Pat McAfee and Shannon Sharpe.

Mississippi State Auditor Shad White is one of three people named in lawsuits filed by NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre. Favre has alleged defamation related to the ongoing investigation and civil suits over misspending of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds. 

The other people Favre is suing are former NFL players turned commentators Pat McAfee and Shannon Sharpe. 

The State Auditor’s spokesman, Fletcher Freeman, said everything White has said about the TANF case is true and is backed by years of audit work by the professionals at their office. 

“It’s mind-boggling that Mr. Favre wants to have a trial about that question,” Freeman said. “Mr. Favre has called Auditor White and his team liars despite repaying some of the money our office demanded from him. He’s also claimed the auditors are liars despite clear documentary evidence showing he benefitted from misspent funds.”

Instead of paying New York litigators to try this case, Freeman said Favre would be better off fully repaying the amount of welfare funds he owes the state.

Favre has repaid over a million dollars related to speeches he was contracted for through the Mississippi Department of Human Services but never gave. The Auditor’s office maintains that Favre still owes the interest related to the funds. 

Favre’s attorney, Michael Shemper, who signed the filing and whose office address is listed in Hattiesburg, claims in the lawsuit that White has made egregiously false and defamatory statements accusing Favre of “steal[ing] taxpayer funds” and knowingly misusing funds “designed to serve poor folks.” 

“There is no basis for these offensive falsehoods, which White made knowing that they were false or, at a minimum, with reckless disregard for the fact that they were false,” the lawsuit sets forth. 

The lawsuit says White appeared for interviews on various media outlets, including CNN, ESPN, WORLD, and others to talk about Favre.

Shemper writes that before filing this complaint, Favre sent White a letter demanding that White retract and apologize for his defamatory statements and cease and desist from making further defamatory falsehoods against Favre. 

White has failed and refused to do so, Shemper states. 

About the Author(s)
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Anne Summerhays

Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth. Email Anne: