MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle allegedly received “non-public financial details” from Under Armour founder and ex-CEO Kevin Plank, RadarOnline.com has learned.
The lawsuit was filed by Under Armour shareholders against Ruhle’s former employer, Bloomberg, and claimed she was given a secret email address and phone line, which she used to communicate with Plank “at all hours.”
The allegations stemming from Ruhle and Plank’s unusually close relationship were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Ruhle worked for Bloomberg from 2011 to 2016 when she left the network for MSNBC. While at Bloomberg, Ruhle and Plank claimed they were nothing more than close friends; however, their relationship stirred internal rumors at Under Armour that the married individuals were having an affair with one another.
The relationship was further scrutinized in court documents that claimed Ruhle was sent a secret recording of Plank discussing the brand’s finances with other Under Armour executives.
Plank was accused of providing Ruhle with “non-public financial information” about his company. When asked to describe his relationship with Ruhle in a 2023 deposition, Plank said, “She’s a confidant.”
“I would give her counsel on her career and she would give me counsel on things I was dealing with that were either banking or media or human nature in relation,” Plank added on his friendship with Ruhle.
When the MSNBC anchor sat for her deposition, Ruhle acknowledged that she received a phone from Plank.
The WSJ reported that Ruhle confirmed that the phone she received from Plank was separate from her personal and work devices.
“We were friends and I covered his company,” Ruhle said in the deposition, where she also confirmed several trips taken with Plank on his private jet.
When the anchor was later pressed on whether she took the trips as Plank’s friend or as a journalist, she responded, “I was flying on his plane as myself, Stephanie Ruhle. I’m not really in a category one or the other.”
Shareholders of Under Armour alleged that Plank and other executives knowingly inflated the company’s worth while being aware that sales were not an accurate reflection of stock values. While Plank stepped down as CEO in 2019, he remains a chairman of Under Armour.
A spokesperson for the sportswear brand denied that the relationship was anything more than friends and that advice shared between the two was not “used improperly.”
“As we’ve said, Mr. Plank has utilized outside advisors and that’s what these documents show,” a rep for Under Armour told the WSJ. “None of the information was used improperly.”