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Thursday, December 25, 2003
Lawsuit settled; terms confidential

ESPN.com news services

A defamation lawsuit filed against Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and three other parties has been resolved, the Indianapolis Star reported Thursday.

"The case has been concluded," Archie Manning, Peyton's father, told the newspaper Wednesday through a family spokesman.

Archie Manning would not elaborate, citing a confidentiality agreement. Peyton Manning was not available for comment after the Colts' practice Wednesday.

The lawsuit was brought by Jamie Ann Naughright. She filed suit in Polk County (Fla.) circuit court in 2002, claiming Manning ridiculed her in a book he wrote with his father and author John Underwood -- "Manning: A Father, His Sons and a Football Legacy."

Naughright's attorney, Robert Puterbaugh of Lakeland, Fla., did not return messages left by the newspaper at his home Wednesday.

Circuit court judge Harvey Kornstein ruled in November there was sufficient evidence for a jury to hear Naughright's case. It stemmed from a 1996 encounter during which Manning dropped his pants in front of Naughright, who was then a trainer at Tennessee at the time.

Without referring to Naughright by name, the book included the "mooning" incident. In the book, Manning wrote the trainer had a "vulgar mouth" but conceded his behavior was "inappropriate."

"Crude, maybe, but harmless," he wrote.

The mooning incident was among numerous claims of sexual harassment Naughright cited in a complaint against the University of Tennessee. She reportedly received a $300,000 settlement from the university in 1997.

Naughright's defamation suit against the Mannings was filed two years after the publication of the book. Besides Peyton and Archie Manning, Naughright's lawsuit included Underwood, the book's author, and publisher HarperCollins, Inc.

Naughright works in Lakeland (Fla.) as a personal trainer.

In an interview with The Associated Press in November, Archie Manning said he believes his son had been punished enough for a mistake he made seven years ago.

"He felt it was his mistake, he tried to apologize and he was remorseful," Archie Manning said. "He got punished and he took his punishment."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.