Lelands.com is fighting back against a lawsuit filed by Jim Brown over the Hall of Fame running back’s 1964 NFL Championship ring. The auction company filed its answer to Brown’s complaint and countersued in federal court Friday.
Lelands attempted to sell the ring during its summer auction, but Brown claimed it had been stolen from him in the 1960s. The ring was then pulled from the auction after Brown sued.
Lelands says Brown submitted false affidavits and declarations to the court over ownership of the ring, the authenticity of which has never been in dispute. Lelands also says the negative publicity over Brown’s claim the ring was stolen will hurt its value should they be able to once again put it into one of its auctions and has already “impugned the honesty and integrity” of the company.
In court papers, Lelands listed what it says is the trail of the ring’s ownership, which began with Brown’s ex-wife and included possession by two prominent collectors. Lelands first sold the ring at auction in 1992 before buying it from one of those collectors in May and placing it back up for auction.
Lelands owner Josh Evans is asking for $1 million in damages.
“The last thing I want is to malign Jim Brown and put him through more than he’s already been through, but when somebody attacks my credibility, I have to respond,” Evans told the New York Daily News for this story.