Ten years after she allegedly received explicit pictures from Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, Jenn Sterger has revisited her infamous time with the New York Jets in an effort to re-affirm that she was not at fault in the exchange that led to an NFL investigation.
Now the wife of the Arizona Diamondbacks' Cody Decker, the 34-year-old Sterger told For The Win's Nina Mandell that "I just really want people to get the full scope of what happened to me so that I not only can move on but I can be given the second chance that I've been waiting for."
A "Maxim" and "Playboy" model and TV personality before joining the Jets in 2008 as a game-day host, Sterger was named in a 2010 Deadspin report that said she was on the receiving end of both suggestive voicemails and text messages, including lewd pictures, from Favre, who played for New York that year. A subsequent NFL investigation led to Favre being fined $50,000 for "failure to cooperate," and the quarterback left the Jets after just one season. But Sterger told Mandell that "so many messages" have been "lost in the shuffle" of the scandal over the last eight years.
"A lot of people don't realize I've never met Brett Favre," she said. "I don't know him. I've never met him personally, never shaken his hand, never said hello, never introduced myself. So to this day, a lot of people don't realize I was cyber-bullied. I wasn't his mistress, I wasn't his girlfriend, we had no physical interaction at all, and I think that that's something, to this day, that still shocks people."
Sterger, who has suggested that a culture of sexual abuse existed in sports before the rise of the #MeToo movement, is lined up as a regular guest in Florida State classrooms to discuss women's role in sports media, per Mandell. But as she does that, she's also seeking renewed acceptance from a community that knows her only by her association to Favre.
"They also cleared my name and said that I didn't do anything wrong," Sterger said of the NFL's 2010 investigation. "I'm not the Brett Favre girl. I tell people that every chance I get. Including dumb drunks at a bar. People meet me say, 'You're a lot different than I thought you would be.' I say, 'What were you expecting?'"