Hall of Fame Cowboys receiver and NFL Network commentator Michael Irvin is being investigated in a sexual assault case.
A 27-year-old woman told police she and Irvin were out at a bar and went back to his hotel together. She says she began to feel sick in his room, remembers fighting him off, and woke up as he was checking out. She called 911 at 7:30 a.m. on March 21, said she feared she was drugged and raped, and went to a medical lab for a swab and blood test, according to TMZ.
Irvin’s lawyer, Larry Friedman, is denying the charge.
“The allegations are completely false,” Friedman told TMZ. “In the few hours since we’ve learned about them we’ve already discovered many red flags about this young woman’s background and the allegations she made against Michael. Even the complaint that she made specifically says she does not recall the events that took place. She was very drunk that night. Nothing happened and there was no assault.”
This is at least the third time Irvin has been named in a sexual assault case, but he has never been criminally charged. In 1997 he was falsely accused by a woman named Nina Shahravan, who admitted she lied and was sentenced to 90 days in jail for misdemeanor perjury in connection with the incident. In 2007 he was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a hotel room. Prosecutors did not press charges, she sued him in civil court, he countersued for defamation, and those lawsuits resulted in a confidential settlement.
NFL Network told PFT that it will decline comment at this time.
It would be hard for the league-owned NFL Network to justify not suspending Irvin now that he has been accused again, given the precedent the league set by suspending Ben Roethlisberger. Although Roethlisberger maintained his innocence and did not face criminal charges, he was first named in a civil suit by one woman who claimed he raped her in a hotel room, then named later in a criminal complaint by another woman who claimed he sexually assaulted her in a bar restroom. After the second accusation, the NFL suspended Roethlisberger for the first four games of the 2010 season. Although Roethlisberger is an active player while Irvin is a retired player who works for the league as a broadcaster, they both work in the NFL, and the NFL has said its personal conduct rules apply to everyone who works in the league.
Irvin has not commented on the accusation.