March 18, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Cleveland Browns former player Jim Brown speaks at a press conference during the annual NFL meetings at the Arizona Biltmore. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Auction house countersues Jim Brown over 1964 championship ring

Hall of Famer Jim Brown sued an online auction house last month over the sale of a 1964 championship ring he earned while with the Cleveland Browns, claiming the ring was stolen.

Lelands Collectibles complied with a court order to yank the ring from its auction block, but on Friday filed its answer to Brown’s complaint, along with a countersuit seeking at least $1 million in damages.

The counterclaim alleges that Brown’s ex-wife, Sue Brown, had “valid title” to the ring in the couple’s divorce or as a result of Brown’s “abandonment” of the ring when he left his family in 1964, according to Pro Football Talk.

In the counterclaim, Lelands.com says the ring was sold in the early 1980s to Ray Kling, who sold it to George Lyons, who sold it to the auction house in 1991.

The ring was sold at auction in 1992, again in 1998 and in May, the ring was repurchased by Lelands from Jerry Adamic, the ring’s most recent owner (maybe).

In the counterclaim, Lelands.com is accusing Brown of submitting false affidavits and declarations to the court about the ownership of the ring and that the ensuing negative press will deflate the potential purchase price of the ring if Lelands is able to put it back up for auction.

Lelands.com also alleges that Brown has “impugned the honesty and integrity” of the business, something that could discourage others from doing business with the firm.

The ring had generated a bid of more than $58,000 before it was removed from the site.

In the end, however, the ring could end up being valued at much more than that final bid.

After all, the only thing more valuable than a championship ring that was given to a Hall of Famer might be a disputed championship ring that was given to a Hall of Famer.

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Tags: Cleveland Browns Jim Brown

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