“(You are) a dishonest pig for a journalist.”
Those were the words that led off an email from Sandy Berry, of Oklahoma, after she read my articles here on this blog detailing Jamie Naughright’s inconsistent claims against Peyton Manning.
“You continue to bash the doctor,” Berry continued. “I would love to see guys like you discredited and out of a job because you have no integrity. I should write about you and send it to your kids. You are a sorry excuse for a man.”
I’m not unaccustomed to hate mail but Berry’s email took me aback. By all appearances, she’s acquainted with Naughright, the former University of Tennessee athletics trainer at the center of the Peyton Manning scandal that resurfaced a couple of weeks ago. Berry offers nothing to disprove anything that I’ve written; in fact, when I confronted her with facts, she abruptly stopped emailing me. Instead, she lashes out with personal attacks because I dared to question Naughright’s version of what happened inside a UT locker room in 1996.
That seems to have become a disturbing pattern with Naughright and her supporters. Shaun King, the controversial New York Daily News writer and Black Lives Matter activist who “revealed” Naughright’s 2002 accusations against Manning, has become the trainer’s most vocal supporter, posting a pair of diatribes against Manning that went viral.
Outside the Knoxville News Sentinel and shock-and-awe Fox Sports columnist Clay Travis, almost no one in the mainstream media has bothered themselves to question Naughright’s inconsistencies. Instead, they’re regurgitating details from the 74-page court document filed by Naughright’s attorneys in 2002 and detailed by King two weeks ago.
As I’ve written previously, Naughright’s allegation from that 2002 court filing that Manning assaulted her by placing his naked butt and genitalia directly on her head starkly contrasted with her 1996 claim that he simply mooned her. Manning, of course, has maintained for 20 years that the incident was a simple mooning. The alleged target of the mooning, track athlete Malcolm Saxon, wrote a letter seemingly on behalf of Naughright’s legal team in 2002 that he was not the target of the incident, urging Manning to come clean on what really happened, but his letter did not back up Naughright’s claim that Manning assaulted her. In fact, it seems to corroborate Manning’s description of simply dropping his pants.
But as King assailed Manning, the University of Tennessee and the media for covering up the incident and the Mannings for going to great lengths to torpedo Naughright’s career, he — and other commentators — have feigned outrage that Manning would have the audacity to “defy” a court order by commenting publicly on Naughright’s 1996 sexual harassment lawsuit against the university. As part of her 2002 defamation of character lawsuit against Manning, Naughright claimed that he violated a nondisclosure agreement from the 1996 lawsuit settlement by vaguely recounting the incident in the book he wrote with his father. She sued Manning again in 2004, again alleging a nondisclosure agreement violation. That time around, Manning countersued, saying that Naughright leaked details of the settlement to a newspaper columnist in Florida.
As the evidence against Naughright continues to pile up, painting a picture of a delusional woman who has been obsessed with Manning for the past two decades, it now seems reasonably clear that it was Naughright who leaked that 74-page document to King. That would place her in violation of court-ordered confidentiality agreements as well…and would make King a hypocrite for criticizing Manning’s supposed violation of a nondisclosure agreement. (It remains unclear whether Manning’s mention of the “mooning” incident in his book 15 years ago was, in fact, a violation of a nondisclosure agreement.)
In recent days, it’s been revealed that as recently as last fall, a University of Tennessee associate athletic director, Carmen Tegano, received so many harassing and threatening phone calls from Naughright that he actually contacted the FBI.
And the Knoxville News Sentinel has since revealed that Naughright has continued to make harassing phone calls to its newsroom over the years.
Manning’s alleged defamation of Naughright, which triggered the 2002 lawsuit that is the subject of all the current talk, was claiming in his book that Naughright “has a vulgar mouth.” Naughright alleged that simple claim led to her losing her job at Florida Southern College, a Christian school, and King used that as evidence that Manning intentionally destroyed Naughright’s career — a line of thought that has unfortunately been swallowed hook, line and sinker by masses who have read King’s diatribes without daring to question the claims.
As I’ve written previously, the University of Tennessee concluded in its investigation into the 1996 sexual harassment claims filed by Naughright that she often used vulgar language in an attempt to “fit in with the guys.” Now, in a video interview with Travis, a former Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper who was assigned to the UT football team claims that Naughright had the most vulgar mouth of any woman he’s ever worked with. There have also been verified screen-captures of Naughright’s Facebook page — which has since been deleted — revealing vulgar statements.
The THP trooper says that Naughright befriended him on Facebook, then began to send messages claiming that former UT football coach Phillip Fulmer and former defensive coordinator John Chavis are bisexual. The messages escalated until she accused the trooper of also being bisexual. He blocked her, and she began texting him on his phone until he blocked her there, too.
Travis also interviews a man who has alleged audio recordings of Naughright demand that Manning announce publicly that he is gay. The allegation has also been made that Naughright spilled the 2002 court document to King because she needs money.
At this point, it’s safe to say that Naughright has zero credibility. Instead, she seems to have a habit of going after and harassing anyone who she views as a supporter of Manning — which is ironic, considering what Manning has been accused of.