The weeks following the alleged hotel incident that saw Michael Irvin removed from Super Bowl LVII coverage by NFL Network have been filled with confusion over what actually happened, a legal battle to have video of the incident released, and Irvin’s steadfast admission that he did nothing wrong.
Now, Marriott International has provided its own account of the incident involving Irvin and a hotel female employee.
On February 8, it was reported that the employee had accused Irvin of inappropriate behavior on Feb. 5 at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown, leading to his removal from Super Bowl assignments for NFL Network and ESPN. Irvin immediately started proclaiming his innocence and filed a $100 million lawsuit, claiming defamation and tortious interference in a business relationship.
Two separate judges have since ordered Marriott to turn over video of the alleged incident, something they have fought against on the grounds that Irvin would use it to “fashion a narrative, feed his propaganda machine, and improperly invite potential jurors to prejudge this matter in his favor.”
Irvin held a press conference on Wednesday in which he compared the situation to a lynching.
Per USA Today, Marriott International filed a 28-page motion on Friday pushing back on Irvin’s comments and providing the female employee’s allegations of what happened on Feb. 5 in fuller detail.
“Irvin’s counsel provided a self-serving, inaccurate summary of the video footage Marriott produced, including his claim that the footage proves Irvin did nothing wrong and then turned the microphone over to Irvin to make racially charged statements,” Marriott said in the filing.
As for the incident, Marriott claims that Irvin approached the accuser while he “appeared to be visibly intoxicated” and was aggressive in nature towards her, touching her, and saying she was attractive.
“Irvin also reached out and touched the Victim’s arm during this conversation without her consent, causing her to step back, becoming visibly uncomfortable. Irvin then asked the Victim whether she knew anything about having a “big Black man inside of [her],” reads the lawsuit.
“Irvin then attempted to grab the Victim’s hand again and said he was ‘sorry if he brought up bad memories’ for her.’ The Victim pulled her hand away and tried to back away from Irvin as he continued to move towards her.”
The former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver “stated that he would come back to find [the woman] sometime that week when she was working.” Irvin also allegedly “leered” at the woman as she walked away. Another hotel employee reportedly overheard him saying “She bad,” and “I want to hit that.”
Per the suit, two other hotel employees noticed that the accuser was uncomfortable in the situation. The next day, she reported the incident to her manager, who then told her to speak with Loss Prevention. She was then interviewed by NFL investigators and Irvin left the hotel that evening.
In an interview with the Shan & RJ morning show on 105.3 the Fan the same day the initial news broke, Irvin admitted that “It was a minute meeting somewhere in the lobby. I don’t even remember it really because I had a few drinks, to tell you the truth.”
Marriott finally turn over unredacted video of the alleged incident to Irvin’s legal team and asked the court for a protective order to ensure the privacy and safety of the people visible in the footage in case it becomes public.
U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant was incensed by Marriott’s inability to produce the video before Friday, saying they “blatantly” violated his court order. He also gave Irvin’s team the okay to release the video “without modification.”
Irvin’s legal team has said the allegations are “hogwash” and they plan to release the video publicly.
“Total hogwash,” Irvin’s lawyer Levi McCathern said in a statement. “Marriott’s recently created account goes against all the eyewitnesses and Michael’s own testimony as well as common sense. We will release the video next week. There is no sexual assault. The fact Marriott is taking the position that it is is an insult to all of the true female victims out there.”
The accuser has so far not filed any police complaint with local authorities.
[USA Today, PFT, CowboysWire]