Sterger, Favre lawyers point the blame
The manager for the woman at the center of the NFL's investigation of Brett Favre said Tuesday that the quarterback's agent asked about paying her to keep quiet.
But that's not how Favre's agent, Bus Cook, sees it.
Cook said in a statement that Jenn Sterger's camp made "numerous overtures" to him. He said he believes money has been the motivation for the former New York Jets game emcee.
Sterger's manager, Phil Reese, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview he called Cook in October to alert him about a forthcoming Internet report alleging Favre sent inappropriate messages and lewd photos to Sterger when they were both with the Jets two years ago.
Reese said the reason he reached out was to compare notes about news that could be damaging to both of their clients.
"I was concerned because I didn't know exactly what was going to be coming out, and I knew that it wasn't going to be good for everyone involved," Reese told the AP in a phone interview. "He asked me if there was a specific figure in mind that could make this go away. I told him, 'I wish it were that easy, but there's no putting the toothpaste back in the tube.'"
Cook replied in a statement to the AP Tuesday that there was never an intention to offer money for silence.
"Her manager and her lawyer have made numerous overtures to me ... at least 6 between the two of them," Cook wrote. "Anyone can figure out why. The point is we were never going to pay them, we didn't pay them and we will never pay them. Because, there is NO reason to pay them! They should consider that their attempts to negotiate privately and through the media have failed."
Cook declined to answer further questions about the matter.
Joe Conway, Sterger's attorney, said he called Cook once to introduce himself and followed up with a letter. "It's not about money. It's about doing the right thing," Conway said in a phone interview.
The website Deadspin has said it paid a third party for the materials it posted in a video on Oct. 7, which prompted a league investigation that's been going on since soon after. The piece includes text messages and voicemails allegedly left by the now-Vikings quarterback for Sterger, including one in which he invites her to his hotel. The video ends with several lewd photos - said to be of Favre - which were allegedly sent to Sterger.
A former model who also appeared on the Versus television network, Sterger refused to speak on the record to the website. She talked to league investigators on Nov. 11 and cooperated fully, according to Reese.
Reese said the reason it took so long for Sterger to meet with the NFL was logistical, lining up witnesses to corroborate her story and waiting for forensics specialists he normally works with to analyze data.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Tuesday he had nothing to report on the investigation.
Favre has consistently refused to answer reporters' questions about the allegations since the Deadspin report was posted.