The video at the heart of the situation surrounding Michael Irvin and what led to the NFL Network removing him from Super Bowl LVII coverage may finally come to light.
Irvin was removed by the network due to alleged inappropriate actions with a female employee at the Phoenix Marriott hotel he was staying at. Irvin was adamant in his innocence of the allegations and quickly filed a $100 million lawsuit against his accuser and Marriott.
Marriott had previously filed a motion asking a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit and, on Tuesday, asked a judge to deny Irvin’s request for the release of the video footage.
On Wednesday, the district judge ordered Marriott to produce all items and documents sought in Irvin’s request no later than Tuesday, March 7 at 5 p.m.
“Marriott’s limited participation in court-ordered discovery does not demonstrate its intent to litigate the underlying merits of the case in this Court,” read court documents obtained by USA TODAY Sports. “Nor is there any risk that expedited discovery will cause wasted effort here because the footage and documents sought by Plaintiff will undoubtedly be discoverable and highly relevant irrespective of whether this case is litigated in this Court, in the District of Arizona, or elsewhere.”
Marriott’s argument was that the urgency of releasing the video footage was less about justice and more about Irvin attempting to create a specific narrative that might allow him to return to the NFL Network this week for coverage of the 2023 NFL Combine.
“Plaintiff hopes to obtain the footage so that he can fashion a narrative, feed his propaganda machine, and improperly invite potential jurors to prejudge this matter in his favor,” Marriott said in court documents. “The assertion is smoke without fire.”
Per TMZ, the judge ruled that Marriott does have the ability to protect the identity of Irvin’s accuser, saying that their concern for her privacy and safety “is well-founded.”
Irvin’s lawyer, Levi McCathern, told TMZ he was happy with the court’s latest ruling.
“Michael and I are pleased with the ruling, and we thank the Court for ruling so quickly and equitably,” McCathern said. “We look forward to receiving the information that we believe will prove that Michael was engaged in no wrongdoing.”