Six years after settling a lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault, NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin is being investigated by Fort Lauderdale police over alleged sexual battery. TMZ Sports broke the story Wednesday, and The Associated Press and the local ABC affiliate have confirmed that Irvin was listed on a sexual battery incident report and police are investigating. From TMZ, here are the details:
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ Sports, a 27-year-old Florida woman filed a police report, claiming she and the NFL Hall of Famer were out at a bar in the early hours of March 21 when they went back to the W hotel, where Michael was staying.
The woman says they were in Michael’s room when she began to feel sick. She says the last thing she remembers is fighting him off. She says when she woke up he was about to check out, leaving her behind. She took an Uber home and called 911 at 7:30 AM.
She told cops she feared she was drugged and raped. She was advised to go to a medical lab for a swab and a blood test, which she did.
She says she also texted Michael, asking him if they had sex. She says he responded that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt her.
Our sources say Michael, now an analyst at NFL Network, tells a very different story. He says he was out at a bar with a group of people, including the woman, until around 4:30 AM March 21, when he returned to his hotel and she followed. Michael says he had an early flight, was in the room for only 15 minutes and had no sexual contact with the woman. He also says another male was present.
He says the woman — a cosmetologist — texted him a day later saying, “Come for a facial when you get back to Ft. Lauderdale.”
TMZ’s story also includes Irvin’s lawyer, Larry Friedman, saying “The allegations are completely false. …Nothing happened and there was no assault.”
The question now is what NFL Network will do. They initially suspended and then fired Warren Sapp in February 2015 after he was arrested on two counts of assault and one count of soliciting a prostitute the night after the Super Bowl (Sapp eventually struck a plea bargain and avoided jail time), but that case involved an arrest; Irvin has not been arrested yet. The network also stuck by Irvin during that 2010-11 lawsuit (which was over a 2007 incident). He’s worked for them since 2009, and is one of their most prominent analysts.
Irvin’s past also includes arrests over cocaine possession, an outstanding speeding ticket, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. The latter case led to him being briefly suspended by ESPN in 2005. He and a Cowboys’ teammate were also accused of sexual assault by a team cheerleader in 1996; she later recanted her story and pled guilty to perjury.
We’ll see what happens next in the Irvin case, and if NFL Network takes any action.