Deadspin editor-in-chief A.J. Daulerio knew his post about legendary NFL quarterback Brett Favre sending X-rated crotch shots to a sexy TV sports personality would get a lot of hits – but he says he’s surprised by the number of critics who say the outrageous sports website crossed an ethical line.
Daulerio reported Wednesday that model, actress and TV host Jenn Sterger told him that Favre had sent her inappropriate and explicit pictures of his himself, but it is not clear that Sterger gave her full consent for Deadspin to use what had previously been an off-the-record account.
“What irks me a little bit is when people put us in the same category as The New York Times or you guys,” Daulerio said, referring to the Daily News. “We’ve run rumors and innuendo from the get-go. That’s what we do.”
The controversy dates back to just before the Super Bowl, when Sterger, currently a reporter on Versus’ “The Daily Line,”told Daulerio that Favre had sent her flirty voicemails and naughty pictures in 2008, when she was working for the Jets as a sideline reporter and Favre was Gang Green’s quarterback.
Daulerio said Sterger, 26, told him that she had received several friendly but strange voicemail messages early in the 2008 season.
“But then, one night, Sterger received a picture on her phone which was so shocking that she just tossed it across the room. It was his d—. Brett Favre’s d—.“
Daulerio reported that Sterger, who has posed for steamy photos for Maxim and Playboy, was not interested in a sexual relationship with Favre because she didn’t think it would be a good idea to have an affair with the Jets’ biggest star.
“I just want to make it clear that I never met him, saw him, etc., because I don’t roll that way,” Sterger wrote in a Feb. 15 email to Daulerio. “That meaning old … or married. Some big boobed hoes have morals and souls, believe it or not . . .”
Daulerio said Sterger also told him that she had saved the photos and voicemails to laugh at with friends, but she refused to go public with Favre’s crude come-ons for months, although Daulerio had offered to run the photos without naming her.
Without the photos, voicemails or her on-the-record confirmation, Deadspin couldn’t run with the story, Daulerio’s post said. But he also said he told Sterger on Tuesday that he wasn’t going to sit on the story forever and would move forward based on their email conversations about Favre.
Daulerio says Sterger told him that she was having problems with her Blackberry, but she would go on the record once she got it fixed. “Or you could meet me in person on my way to studio in a few hours,” he said she told him.
Sterger’s spokesman Phil Reese declined to comment when asked if Sterger gave her full consent for the Deadspin post.
Daulerio acknowledges he didn’t speak to Sterger later that day, but he says he went with the story anyway because he was afraid Sterger would back off or give it to another media outlet. He also said it made sense to post the story in the wake of reports about Favre’s on-again, off-again retirement. The latest reports had Favre denying that he has retired, and that his return to the Minnesota Vikings will hinge on his health.
McBride praised Daulerio, however, for informing readers on how he got the Favre story.
“What you have to give him credit for is his transparency,” McBride said. “He shows the reader everything you need to know about how he made the sausage.”
Daulerio said he has not seen the pictures and based his account on Sterger’s descriptions of the photos. He said he decided to report Sterger’s account to give readers a behind-the-scenes look at the life of a sports superstar.
“The guy should be called out for this behavior,” Daulerio said.
Favre has never portray** himself as a choir boy – his struggles with Vicodin and alcohol have been extensively doc**ented – but Daulerio said that Favre, 40, who has been married for 14 years and has two daughters and a 4-month-old grandson, likes to portray himself as a family man.
Daulerio said Sterger told him she did not report the voicemails or photos to the Jets because she felt doing so might jeopardize her job. “We were not made aware of this information until this story came out,” Jets spokesman Bruce Speight said.
An NFL spokesman declined comment.
With Manish Mehta and Gary Myers
Source: New York Daily News