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On February 9, Michael Irvin filed a $100 million defamation lawsuit in Collin County (Texas) court against Marriott International and a female employee who accused him of misconduct.
As a result of the accusation, Irving was pulled immediately from his commentary positions with ESPN and NFL Network during Super Bowl week and has not returned since.
After a “Jane Doe” (as described in the lawsuit) complained about an interaction she had with Irvin on Sunday, February 5, witnesses and cell phone video soon emerged to defend the Hall of Fame receiver.
On Wednesday Irvin and his attorney, Levi McCathern, held a press conference to discuss the details of the case from their point of view.
Judge found Marriott ‘blatantly’ violated an order
During Wednesday’s press conference, McCathern revealed that although Marriott’s counsel allowed him to view the surveillance video, they did not allow him to take a copy or make one. He was not even able to show his client what the video revealed.
As a result, last week, Judge Amos Mazzant ordered Marriott to overturn relevant surveillance video and other materials for their mishandling of the footage.
According to Inside The Star, initially, Judge Mazzant’s order allowed Marriott to redact parts of the video and statements as the hotel chain deemed some information to be too sensitive for public release. Out of a concern for the accuser’s safety, Marriott elected to withhold her identity.
However, Mazzant viewed their handling of the situation “blatantly” violated an order and required the company to surrender surveillance video to Irvin.
Marriott was required to send an un-redacted video of the incident to Irvin’s representation by 5 p.m. Friday, and also said that McCathern may share details with the public.
No protective order was placed over the recording despite Marriott’s request in court Friday for one, effectively allowing the video’s release.
“That’s the penalty you face,” U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant said to a Marriott attorney.
Regarding the surveillance video, McCathern says, “I think people need to see the video and judge it for themselves.” However, according to reports, the meat of the allegations against Michael Irvin are related to his words, not his actions.
While the unedited video has not yet been released, a video circulating social media has told one side of the story; however, Marriott’s latest release of information suggests there is more than meets the eye.
Marriott says Michael Irvin was ‘visibly drunk’
In a motion filed this week, following Michael Irvin’s Tuesday morning press conference, Marriott alleged, “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.”
Although he reportedly turned down drinks by fans present in the lobby, Marriott’s attorneys described Irvin as being “visibly intoxicated” when he approached the accuser, shook her hand, and asked if she was a football fan.
Inside The Star reports their account of the events continued, “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 is alleged to ask the Victim whether she knew anything about having a ‘big Black man inside of [her].’”
Irvin says, ‘in 2023, we still dragging and hanging brothers by a tree.’
In Mariott’s 28-page motion, they only identified the accuser as “victim.” They claimed that Irvin touched the victim’s arm without consent, she responded by backing away, and he moved in closer.
After that, according to Marriott’s motion, Irvin ended the conversation when he noticed hotel security watching the interaction.
“Seeing that other Hotel employees were in the area and wanting the interaction to end, the Victim returned Irvin’s handshake,” Marriott’s counsel wrote. “Irvin then stated that he would come back to find her sometime that week when she was working.”
The hotel reported the incident to the NFL, following guidelines that had been established just the day prior regarding any league employees staying at the hotel. No criminal complaint was ever received by local police about the matter.
The full video has yet to be made public.