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Friday, May 23, 2014
Johnny Manziel subject of hoax filing

ESPN.com news services

An apparent hoax has been perpetrated against Johnny Manziel, in the form of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against the newly drafted Cleveland Browns quarterback last week in federal court in Florida.

Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer
Johnny Manziel was the target of an apparent hoax in the form of a sexual harassment suit filed against him that seeks $25 million for "emotional distress."

The lawsuit asked for $25 million for "emotional distress" and a restraining order against Manziel. It was filed under the name of Samantha Schacher, the name of a co-host of the "Dr. Drew On Call" show on HLN as well as the host/producer of "Pop Trigger" on Hulu.

Schacher, on Twitter, denied she filed the suit, tweeting, "It's 100 percent a hoax people." She also named a person she believes filed the suit.

NFL.com, citing a court clerk, earlier reported that the filer is a "frequent filer" and used Schacher's name as an alias.

There was no court fee paid in the filing of the case, which is required for a case to move forward in the court system.

Manziel's agent, Erik Burkhardt, meanwhile, also tweeted that the lawsuit was fake:

This joke "lawsuit" is obviously 1000000% fake and/ or frivolous. Embarrassing I even have say this after reading the nonsense.

- Erik Burkhardt (@ErikBurkhardt) May 23, 2014

USA Today reported that Burkhardt said it is "absolutely possible" Manziel could seek legal action against the person who filed the suit if it was a hoax, but said no decision had been made.

The paperwork was received by the court on May 16. It is dated May 2 -- six days before Manziel was taken by the Browns with the 22nd pick in the NFL draft.

The suit's envelope had a return address matching CNN's offices in Atlanta. USA Today reported that a court clerk said the filing was mailed in Trenton, N.J.

No lawyer was mentioned in the paperwork.

The lawsuit details a number of alleged instances of sexual harassment but is littered with typographical errors and misspellings. Among those also mentioned is Jadeveon Clowney, the top pick in the draft, though his name is misspelled.