Jury selection set to start in memorabilia lawsuit involving Giants quarterback Eli Manning
Jury selection is set to start on Monday in the trial of a memorabilia dealer who accuses New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning of conspiring with the team's equipment staff to sell fake ''game-used'' helmets.
Unless there is a settlement, Manning could take the witness stand.
Three memorabilia collectors filed a civil fraud and racketeering suit in January 2014 against the Giants, Manning, equipment manager Joe Skiba, Steiner Sports and team co-owner and CEO John Mara, claiming that the two-time Super Bowl MVP instructed Skiba to get equipment so it could be sold off as authentic.
The trial was set to start last September in state Superior Court in Bergen County, New Jersey after court documents containing emails indicated Manning's involvement in the scheme. Manning reportedly sent Skiba an email in 2010 requesting "two helmets that can pass as game used."
Manning has denied any wrongdoing with his lawyers saying that lead plaintiff Eric Inselberg is a scam artist and characterized his lawsuit as "inflammatory and baseless."
Inselberg claims that photographic experts used a technique called "photomatching" and could not find evidence that the helmets were ever used, including one he says was purportedly used during the Giants' 2007 Super Bowl season.
"I will say I have never done what I have been accused of doing," Manning said last year. "I have no reason nor have I had any reason to do anything of that nature. I have done nothing wrong and I have nothing to hide, and I know when this is done everyone will see it the same way."
"I think my track record of how I have handled myself since I have been here in New York since 2004 speaks for itself,'' Manning said. ''I have tried to do everything with class and be a standup citizen. That's what I have done."