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Monday, May 20, 2024
Law

Brett Favre Asks Judge to Lift Gag Order in Mississippi Welfare Case

  • Favre's lead attorney says suppression order prevents Favre from responding to 'mitigate' coverage.
  • Favre is among several defendants in a lawsuit brought by Mississippi's welfare agency.
Former NFL quarterback, Brett Favre, is in an ongoing legal dispute over use of Mississippi state welfare funds
Sam Greene / USA TODAY NETWORK

Brett Favre requested the judge overseeing a lawsuit brought by the Mississippi Department of Human Services over misspent welfare funds to modify the gag order in the case. 

“There has been a tremendous amount of negative publicity about Mr. Favre, not least because State Auditor Shad White and others have been continually telling the media falsehoods about Mr. Favre,” Eric. D. Herschmann, Favre’s lead attorney, wrote in a Friday filing

Favre saw nearly all of his sponsor and media deals put on hold late last year as his links to the scandal garnered national attention. 

The suppression order that Judge Eleanor Faye Peterson put in place in May prohibits “all attorneys, their representatives, parties, witnesses, applicable agency personnel, law enforcement officers and court personnel” from discussing the case until it concludes.

Favre is among more than 30 defendants who allegedly received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), a federal program meant to assist the impoverished families. 

In a footnote, Herschmann mentioned an ESPN segment that aired on May 30 where White — whom Favre is suing for defamation — was interviewed. 

“This false publicity likely already has adversely affected Mr. Favre’s ability to receive a fair and impartial trial,” Herschmann wrote. “The suppression order now prevents Mr. Favre from responding to and trying to mitigate the effect of such publicity and could have the unintended consequence of further tainting the trial against Mr. Favre.” 

Favre has been connected to about $8 million in misappropriated funds in the lawsuit. Favre has repaid $1.1 million he received for speeches and appearances he did not perform. 

Favre denied knowing the money he and his pet projects received — including a $5 million volleyball center at his alma mater, the University of Southern Mississippi — came from TANF funds. 

Beyond White, Favre also sued Pat McAfee and Shannon Sharpe in February over their comments about the Hall of Fame quarterback’s ties to the scandal. 

McAfee issued a clarification in May, leading Favre to drop the lawsuit. No money changed hands as part of the settlement. 

The lawsuits against Sharpe and White remain ongoing.

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