Los Angeles: Former Green Bay Packers great Brett Favre said Friday that a Mississippi state auditor's claim that he received $1.1 million for speaking engagements he never attended was "100% not true."
The Hall of Fame quarterback has already agreed to pay back the $1.1 million, which auditor Shad White said this week was paid with funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) federal welfare program.
Favre, in an interview on ESPN Wisconsin, said he had no idea the money he received may have come from funds intended to aid impoverished families, saying the idea he would take such money was "ridiculous."
He also said the payment he received was, in fact, for public service announcements that he completed and which aired over three years in his home state of Mississippi.
"I've never no-showed anyone as far as speaking engagements or commercials or anything of that nature," Favre said.
"For him to say I took $1.1 million and didn't show up for speaking engagements is absolutely, 100% not true. But yes, we are paying it back."
White had said in his report there was no indication that Favre realized the money paid to Favre Enterprises by the non-profit Mississippi Community Education Center (MCEC) came from TANF funds.
The money is being repaid to the Mississippi Department of Human Services and will be held for use on "TANF-appropriate" expenditures, White said.
A former Department of Human Services director and five others, including a former director of the MCEC, have been indicted on state charges of embezzling some $4 million in TANF funds and have pleaded not guilty.
"There's a lot more to this investigation that has nothing to do with me," said Favre, who guided the Packers to a Super Bowl title in the 1996 season. "When you are paid by your employer, do you ask them where the money comes from?"