Brett Favre Suing Shannon Sharpe, Pat McAfee for Defamation

Brett Favre is taking action against two former NFL stars. According to ESPN, the former Green Bay Packers quarterback has filed three separate defamation lawsuits against Shannon Sharpe, Pat McAfee and Mississippi state auditor Shad White. This comes as Favre is in the middle of the largest welfare fraud scandal in Mississippi history. 

Favre's lawsuit against Sharpe, who is a host on the FS1 series Undisputed, alleges that he defamed Favre by saying on his broadcast that the Hall of Famer was  a "sorry mofo to steal from the lowest of the low," and that Favre "stole money from people that really needed that money." The same allegations were made in a lawsuit against McAfee, a former NFL punter who is the host of The Pat McAfee Show. In the lawsuit, Favre says that McAfee called him a "thief" who was "stealing from poor people in Mississippi."

In the lawsuit against White, whose office discovered the fraudulent spending that led to criminal charges against six people, Favre accused him of "shamelessly and falsely attacking Favre's good name" to advance his career. "White has made egregiously false and defamatory statements accusing Favre of 'stealing taxpayer funds' and knowingly misusing funds 'designed to serve poor folks,'" the lawsuit states.

"Everything Auditor White has said about this case is true and is backed by years of audit work by the professionals at the Office of the State Auditor," Fletcher Freeman, a spokesman for the State Auditor's office, said Thursday in response to Favre's lawsuit.

Favre became involved in the case in 2020 after investigators in White's office discovered that at least $77 million in public money from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds were used to line the pockets of wealthy Mississippi citizens instead of used for families in need. A state and civil lawsuit noted that Favre was paid $1.1 million in TANF funds for speeches White said Favre never made. Favre paid the money back, but White wanted the 53-year-old to pay $228,000 in interest.

"My agent is often approached by different products and brands for me to appear in one way or another," Favre said in a statement in 2020. "This request was no different, and I did numerous ads for Families First. I have never received monies for obligations I didn't meet. To reiterate Auditors White's statement, I was unaware that the money being dispersed was paid for out of funds not intended for that purpose, and because of that, I am refunding the full amount back to Mississippi."