Report: Court Docs Reveal Close, Complicated Relationship Between MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle and Under Armour Founder Kevin Plank

By Mark Mwachiro 

An Under Armour shareholder lawsuit filed in 2017 alleging the company artificially inflated its share prices, causing losses for its shareholders, has brought additional insight into the close, complicated relationship between MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle and former Under Armour CEO/founder Kevin Plank.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Plank supplied Ruhle with a private phone, which contained a special email address from which they could communicate with each other about confidential financial information pertaining to Under Armour.

This happened while Ruhle was still employed at Bloomberg, with the two regularly corresponding. In one instance in 2016, Plank sent Ruhle a recording of a private conversation between himself and another Under Armour executive.


This latest revelation is coming to light as a result of portions of their depositions, which were held earlier this year, being revealed with Plank describing Ruhle as 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,” he said.

Other instances revealed by the court documents include Ruhle advising Under Armour to give internal data to Bloomberg’s competitors to counter the negative publicity it was receiving, and Plank sharing comments he had planned to make the day after Under Armour reported poor quarterly results with Ruhle and asking for her for advice.

Ruhle, in her deposition, admitted to having three phones in her possession then and said that the two of them were friends and that she covered his company.

Shareholders this past Friday were denied by the judge overseeing the case a request to force Bloomberg to provide Ruhle’s emails, with the judge saying that reporter’s privilege protected access to those emails.

A spokesperson for Under Armour told WSJ that claims brought on by the shareholders are meritless, while Bloomberg, MSNBC, and Ruhle have not provided any comment.

Plank and Ruhle’s close ties were first reported on in 2019, which TVNewser covered.

Plank, who has befriended many celebrities and high-profile media figures over the years as Under Armour has grown since its 1996 launch, reportedly has also used his privately owned plane, which Under Armour leases for company use, to transport the MSNBC anchor with him to various locations.

In this latest deposition, Ruhle said, when asked whether she was traveling on the private plane with Plank as a Bloomberg reporter or a friend, “I was flying on his plane as myself, Stephanie Ruhle. I am not really in a category one or the other.”

Ruhle was a managing director at Deutsche Bank before becoming a TV newser. She joined Bloomberg TV in 2011 and then MSNBC in 2016. She interviewed Plank a number of times while she was a host at Bloomberg.

Plank stepped down as Under Armour CEO in 2019. He remains the company’s executive chairman.