Brett Favre and his legal team are seemingly doubling-down on their defamation claims against Pat McAfee.
In late March, McAfee filed a motion to dismiss the defamation lawsuit brought against him by the Hall of Fame quarterback because it failed to properly allege McAfee acted with “actual malice.”
Favre’s side responded Saturday, according to The Athletic’s Daniel Wallach, by amending the complaint “to beef up ‘actual malice’ allegations” against the former NFL punter and popular podcaster.
In February, Favre filed lawsuits against McAfee, Fox Sports’ Shannon Sharpe and state auditor Shad White, accusing the trio of defaming him in public discussions about the misspending of welfare money in Mississippi.
Favre claimed McAfee used “outrageous falsehoods,” calling Favre a “thief” who was “stealing from poor people in Mississippi.”
Some of the pages shared by Wallach shed light onto the reasoning Favre is using to add to his case.
“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.”
In total, the amended complaint contains 12 new allegations directed to the crucial issue of “actual malice”.
The suit claims McAfee made remarks either knowing they were “fabrications and the products of his imagination” or “harbored serious doubts about whether his remarks were true and in fact knew that they were probably false.”
By doing so, Favre claims it cast him in the “the worst possible light.”
On the “Pat McAfee Show” a day later, the former Pro Bowler was dismissive of the lawsuit and shared details on a list of demands sent to him by Favre’s lawyers, which included the deletion of social media videos mentioning Favre and a public apology.
“A lot of people are wondering how my lawyers are gonna handle this,” McAfee said of the lawsuit at the time. “You know it, I ain’t got ’em. So let’s ride this f–ker. I’m excited to see how it goes. I’ll see you in court pal.”
Favre, who has denied wrongdoing, is not facing criminal charges in the Mississippi welfare scandal.
He, however, is among more than three dozen people or businesses the state is suing to try to recover the missing funds.
Favre has repaid the $1.1 million he received for speaking engagements he did not show up for from a group that spent money from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program that got Mississippi Department of Human Services approval.