NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A memorabilia dealer is taking aim at the New York Giants in a lawsuit that alleges the team and quarterback Eli Manning knowingly created and pushed fake game-worn items in order to hang on to the real stuff themselves.
And it could become a real headache in East Rutherford.
The New York Post first detailed the lawsuit brought by Eric Inselberg in Thursday’s paper. Inselberg claims that Giants equipment manager Joe Skiba and locker-room manager Ed Wagner Jr. doctored items to appear game-worn, sometimes with the help of the team’s dry cleaner.
The lawsuit also alleges that Manning, seeking to keep possession of his own items, was a participant in the ruse.
“The Giants told me this suit is completely without merit and I have no reason to believe otherwise,” Manning said in a statement on Thursday afternoon. “The Giants are going to fight it and so will I.”
On Thursday morning, Giants co-owner Jonathan Tisch said on WFAN radio that the team will fight the allegations.
“The organization will defend itself,” Tisch said on the “Boomer & Carton” show. “They just feel that there’s no merit and the Giants will always defend themselves.”
The owner of Park Cleaners in Rutherford, which was also named in the suit, refused to comment on the case, CBS 2’s Andrea Grymes reported.
Among the claims, Inselberg says the quarterback requested a helmet from Skiba in 2005, signed it and tried to pass it off as “used during his 2004 rookie season,” according to the lawsuit.
“The allegations against Eli are allegations,” Tisch said. “We know that he is a first-class guy and comes from a fantastic family. And they are only allegations.”