Setting aside everything that happened before April of 2011 regarding Jenn Sterger and Brett Favre and Jenn Sterger and Deadspin and Jenn Sterger and the folks who, in hindsight, were giving her advice that apparently wasn’t consistent with her wishes, Sterger’s strategy is getting clearer by the day.
Her media career currently is over, and she apparently thinks that opening up now represents her last, best chance to start it up again.
“I didn’t want anything to do with it,” Sterger told George Stephanopoulos of Good Morning America regarding the advances from Favre that consisted of voice and text messages in 2008, while she was working for the Jets and Favre was their starting quarterback. “That’s the thing. I didn’t want anything to do with it in 2008. I don’t want anything to do with it in 2010. I still don’t want anything to do with it now.
“The only reason I feel like I have to give this interview is because . . . for me,” Sterger said. “For my family. This has nothing to do with Brett Favre. It doesn’t. I just want people to know me. And to know that I’m not a gold digger. And I’m not a home wrecker.”
But which people is she referring to? The American public? Or the people who hand out jobs in the media?
Much of the interview, targeted ostensibly to mainstream morning-TV viewers who likely didn’t know much about the situation as it was unfolding during the 2010 football season, covered things that had been disclosed by her former manager, Phil Reese, and/or her lawyer, Joseph Conway. Someone from the Jets apparently gave Favre her phone number. She was leery; he was persistent, to the point of texting obscene photos of himself. Others advised her not to complain, explaining that she’d likely lose her job if she did.
The most telling moment, in our view, came when Sterger was asked if she ever sent Favre a text telling him to “smile” if he actually was the one sending the messages.
“No, I don’t really recall . . . all of the texts,” she said, squinting a bit in a possible effort to create the impression that she was thinking really hard about it. “I don’t remember what was in them. I’m sorry.”
But Phil Reese told Dan Patrick in December that Sterger at one point sent such a text, because Favre would simply stare at her. So at one point he took off his helmet and slowly and deliberately smiled at her.
If, as she told Stephanopoulos, Sterger never met Favre, how could she ever forget that exchange?
It’s simply not credible. And credible is precisely what she needs to be if she ever hopes to get another job in the media.
The field is intensely competitive. Her last job involved being a member of a four-person ensemble on The Daily Line, with a specific niche that entailed surfing the web and periodically chiming in with the things that people were saying on the Internet. Her media resume consists of, per the online archive, 32 columns for SI.com (most of which are “mailbag” submissions in which she addressed subjects like what she’s looking for in a man and whether to have a MySpace page), a year with the Jets as an in-house sideline hostess, and a stint with a failed sports news show.
Though she appears blameless for what occurred in 2008, she ultimately has only herself to blame for manner in which things played out in 2010. When she told the editor of Deadspin about being pursued by Favre via graphic photos, what did she think the editor of Deadspin would want to do with the information? And if she contends that A.J. Daulerio broke her confidence when initially publishing the story in August 2010, why didn’t she say so at the time? And if, as she now says, she never wanted anything from Favre, why did she hire a lawyer who then hired a former FBI agent who went to work on proving that the messages came from Favre and that the Jets gave Favre her number? And why did the lawyer proclaim from Day One that he planned to pursue any remedies for Sterger, if she just wanted all of this to go away?
If she’s now telling the truth (and we have no reason to think she isn’t), Sterger made bad decisions, she trusted the wrong people, and she allowed folks she hired to represent her interests to do things that conflicted with her wishes.
That’s the more interesting story at this point, and that’s what Stephanopoulos should be asking her about.