"I've never done what I've been accused of doing," said Manning, addressing the allegations publicly for the first time. "I have no reason nor have I ever had a reason to do anything of that nature. I've done nothing wrong and I have nothing to hide. I know when this is all done everybody will see this the same way."
Manning's response comes after the New York Post published an excerpt from an email that allegedly shows the former Super Bowl MVP instructing an equipment manager to obtain gear that could be passed off as authentic game-used memorabilia. Another email excerpt obtained by the Post allegedly shows Manning communicating with a marketing agent about the bogus items.
According to the Post, the emails were filed in New Jersey's Bergen County Superior Court by three memorabilia collectors who are pursuing a civil lawsuit against the quarterback.
The two-time Super Bowl winner has a contract with Steiner Sports, a prominent sports memorabilia seller, but Manning said he would have no financial incentive by trying to pass along equipment that wasn't authentic. Manning declined to comment extensively on the released content of the emails, saying only the chain of messages were "taken out of context and there's some other filings that have gone on recently that will clear up a lot of those things."
"I sign autographs like a lot of people do," Manning said. "I owed Steiner jerseys -- I did not receive any benefits from that and that was just part of my agreement, but I never personally sold or made any money off a jersey or helmet."
Manning said he has heard "nothing from the NFL" regarding the matter. He added that the allegations, which first surfaced more than three years ago, have been tolling on him.
"I've been dealing with it for a long time," Manning said. "Just more angry than anything about having to deal with it and knowing that I've done nothing wrong and still being attacked.
"It'll all work out. I think when it all does I'll be clear of this and everybody will see I've done nothing wrong."