You can read the entire 77-page suit after the jump, but here’s the gist of it: In 2011, a memorabilia collector, Eric Inselberg, was indicted for memorabilia fraud. He allegedly sold fake Giants items. His case was dismissed in 2013 when his lawyers claimed that Giants staffers had lied to a grand jury in an effort to cover up their own involvement. Inselberg is now suing Manning and the Giants.
Included in the lawsuit is a 2008 e-mail exchange between Inselberg and [equipment manager] Joe Skiba, in which Skiba appears to acknowledge he created fake game-worn gear at Manning’s request.
“Hey Joe, my buddy was offered an eli game used helmet and jersey. Are these the bs ones eli asked you to make up because he didnt want to give up the real stuff?” Inselberg writes in the exchange.
Skiba — replying from account “firstname.lastname@example.org” — writes, “BS ones, you are correct…”
Some of Manning’s alleged fakes were sold through famed memorabilia house Steiner Sports, with whom he had an exclusive deal.
Steiner, believing its items to be authentic, sold them “to unwitting customers and sent them via the mail,” the suit says.
Angry buyers started to complain after noticing that markings on their items didn’t match those that appeared in pictures of Manning’s game-day duds.
But Manning told Steiner they were legit, and Steiner resold returned helmets to other buyers, the suit claims.
Perfect, and likely planned, timing for the suit. The whole Manning clan, and presumably many friends and family, are in North Jersey for the Super Bowl this week, making it instantly newsworthy.
A Giants rep told the paper that the claims are false: “This suit is completely without any merit whatsoever and we will defend it vigorously. We will not otherwise comment on pending litigation.”
Lawsuit after the jump.