In a secret meeting last month, former New York Jets media personality Jenn Sterger took on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, tearfully saying she didn’t come forward with claims about sexual harassment by Brett Favre because she felt that nothing would be done, her lawyer revealed Tuesday.
Less than two weeks before Favre was given a wrist slap, Sterger, who allegedly received suggestive voicemails, texts and photos of a penis from then-Jets quarterback Favre’s cell phone in 2008, told Goodell he was "delusional" if he thought the incident with the graying gridiron great was "isolated," her lawyer Joseph Conway recalled.
Sterger’s dramatic Dec. 16 sit-down with Goodell came a month after league investigators questioned her for hours about Favre.
After being summoned to the InterContinental Hotel in Manhattan, Goodell and other NFL officials "wanted to know did she do anything to encourage this, did she do anything to keep (Favre) going," said Conway — adding that Sterger never led on the future Hall of Famer.
The commissioner also demanded to know why Sterger didn’t tell the Jets about Favre’s conduct.
"She said, ‘The reason I didn’t come forward two years ago is because the results would have been the same, except now I have representation who has my back and protects me,’ " Conway recalled.
Sterger said she felt like the situation was "a case of ‘David vs. Goliath,’ " the lawyer said, but Goodell appeared sympathetic.
"(He) said, ‘Why do you say versus? We’re not fighting against you, we’re fighting with you. I just need answers. To which she got upset and started crying and said, ‘I gave you answers over a month ago!’ "
When Goodell insisted he has "a wife who works in the industry, and two daughters, and I have the authority to discipline him,’ " Sterger called his bluff, Conway said.
"She said, ‘I’m not questioning your authority. I’m questioning whether you’re actually going to do anything, because I don’t think you are.’ "
Goodell is married to former FOX News daytime host Jane Skinner.
Favre was fined $50,000 for not cooperating with the probe, but he was not penalized for allegedly harassing Sterger.
In announcing the fine last week, the NFL released a statement saying that on the basis of the evidence currently available to him, Commissioner Goodell could not conclude that Favre violated league policies relating to workplace conduct.
"I can’t for the life of me understand how he could come out with such a ruling," Conway said, citing Sterger’s interviews and documentation she provided.
The NFL declined to comment on the details of the Sterger-Goodell meeting.
This week, a pair of Long Island masseuses, Christina Scavo and Shannon O’Toole, sued the Jets and Favre over claims similar to Sterger’s.