On Thursday, court documents revealed that Eli Manning sent an email to a New York Giants equipment manager that a lawyer claims is "direct evidence" he was involved in defrauding memorabilia collectors, according to Kaja Whitehouse and Bruce Golding of the New York Post.
Manning is facing a lawsuit from memorabilia dealer Steiner Sports that claims the quarterback knowingly provided him with bogus equipment to be sold as authentic.
"2 helmets that can pass as game used. That is it. Eli," was the email Manning sent to equipment manager Joe Skiba in April 2010 from a BlackBerry, according to the documents.
Lawyer Brian Brook is claiming that the text is the "only direct evidence that Manning knowingly gave fraudulent helmets to Steiner for sale to fans" as the Giants didn't preserve emails between Manning and Skiba. The email in question was from Manning's personal account.
After the email was released, Karren Kessler, a spokeswoman for the law firm McCarter & English, which represents the Giants, provided a statement to Pro Football Talk claiming the text was taken out of context.
The email, taken out of context, was shared with the media by an unscrupulous memorabilia dealer and his counsel who for years has been seeking to leverage a big payday. The email predates any litigation, and there was no legal obligation to store it on the Giants server. Eli Manning is well known for his integrity and this is just the latest misguided attempt to defame his character.