Marriott International provided its own description of an encounter between Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin and a female hotel employee in February.
Irvin is seeking $100 million in damages after the woman accused the former NFL wide receiver of making "harassing and inappropriate comments" in the lobby of the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel on Feb. 5, days ahead of the Super Bowl. As a result, NFL Network and ESPN removed Irvin from their lineup of analysts and sent him home.
In a 28-page motion on Friday, Marriott first criticized Irvin's March 8 press conference in which the former Dallas Cowboys star proclaimed his innocence and added that it took him "back to a time where a white woman would accuse a black man of something, and they would take a bunch of guys that were above the law, run in a barn, put a rope around his foot and drag him through the mud and hang him by a tree."
Marriott said in the filing, "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."
On the night in question, Marriott claims Irvin "appeared to be visibly intoxicated" as he began his aggressive behavior toward the employee, shaking her hand, stating she was attractive, and asking her if she watched football.
"Irvin also reached out and touched the Victim's arm during this conversation without her consent, causing her to step back, becoming visibly uncomfortable," the filing states. "Irvin then asked the Victim whether she knew anything about having a "big Black man inside of (her).
"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."
According to the lawsuit, two hotel employees noticed their co-worker was uncomfortable when she returned to work after the encounter with Irvin.
The next day, the accuser reported the incident to her manager, who told her to take the complaint to Loss Prevention. She was then interviewed by NFL investigators.
Irvin left the hotel later that night.
Irvin's attorney, Levi McCathern, pushed back against Marriott's account in a statement Friday to the Dallas Morning News, calling it "total hogwash."
"Marriott's recently-created account goes against all the eyewitnesses and Michael's own testimony as well as common sense," McCathern said. "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."
McCathern previously told TMZ that Irvin's reputation has not only been damaged but that he lost money in the form of canceled appearances following the woman's allegations.
The 56-year-old Irvin told the Dallas Morning News shortly after the incident that he had a brief encounter with the woman in the hotel lobby.
"Honestly, I'm a bit baffled with it all," Irvin told the newspaper. "This all happened in a 45-second conversation in the lobby. When I got back after going out ... I came into the lobby, and I talked to somebody. I talked to this girl. I don't know her, and I talked to her for about 45 seconds. We shook hands. Then, I left. ... That's all I know."
A judge on Feb. 16 initially ordered Marriott to turn over video et al but Marriott balked at the ruling and it got kicked over to federal court. U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant ordered Marriott to turn the video over, but when the hotel chain provided a video with the accuser's face blurred out, Mazzant said Marriott "blatantly" violated his previous order.
Mazzant then ordered Marriott to send Irvin's representation an unredacted version of the video by 5 p.m. Friday. Marriott's request for a protective order to be placed over the recording was denied, meaning Irvin can release the video to the public.
The accuser was identified as "victim" in the recent filing and "Jane Doe" in previous motions.
There has been no criminal complaint made against Irvin related to the encounter.
--Field Level Media