Marriott reveals allegations against Michael Irvin; his lawyer calls them “total hogwash”

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Marriott, on the ropes early in its legal fight against Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin, has finally tried to counterpunch.

Via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, Marriott disclosed on Friday specific details about the allegations a female employee of a Phoenix hotel made against Irvin. The complaint got Irvin removed from NFL Network’s and ESPN’s Super Bowl-week programming.

Attorney Levi McCathern pushed back against the contention, calling it “total hogwash” in a statement to Gehlken.

“Marriott’s recently-created account goes against all the eyewitnesses and Michael’s own testimony as well as common sense,” McCathern told Gehlken. “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.”

In a court filing submitted on Friday, Marriott claimed that Irvin “flagged down” the employee as she walked from a bar area in the lobby. Irvin allegedly asked her about her work, said he found her attractive, shook her hand, and introduced himself.

She said, per Marriott, that she doesn’t follow the NFL. He allegedly told her to search his name on the Internet.

Here’s an excerpt from the document posted by Gehlken:

“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].’ Taken aback by Irvin’s comments, the Victim responded that his comments were inappropriate, and she did not wish to discuss it further.

“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.”

Two Marriott coworkers allegedly noticed that the female employee seemed uncomfortable. Irvin allegedly said to her that “security” had noticed him. He then offered his hand and prepared to end 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 lawyers wrote. “Irvin then stated that he would come back to find her sometime that week when she was working.”

As the employee walked away, Irvin allegedly “leered” at her. Then, another unnamed hotel employee approached Irvin.

“After Irvin finished leering at the Victim and turned back to Employee 1, he said aloud, ‘She bad,’ ‘She bad,’ ‘I want to hit that,’ and slapped himself in the face three times, saying, ‘Keep it together, Mike,’” Marriott’s lawyers contend.

None of the contents of the court filing count as true and reliable evidence. At some point, the witnesses will be required to take the oath to tell the truth and then share their stories — with full cross-examination.

For now, this could be nothing more than the best possible version that Marriott can offer. And if, as it appears, Marriott insists on concealing the identity of all witnesses for as long as it can, Marriott likely has not submitted affidavits or declarations signed by the witnesses under penalty of perjury.

That’s not to say anyone is lying, for now. But words on paper are one thing. Testimony that withstands tough questions aimed at testing the limits of its truthfulness is another.

The only people who have spoken on the matter from Marriott’s perspective are Marriott’s lawyers. And they have already undermined their own credibility by defying a court order to properly produce the surveillance video of the interaction.

That’s the point that keeps bugging me, frankly. If Marriott thought the video supported its subsequent decision to sound an alarm to NFL Network, Marriott should have no qualms about making it available, to anyone. Marriott’s behavior as it relates to the video suggests that the company has something to hide.

It’s a foolish strategy, because in situations like this the truth — whatever it is — always comes out.

81 responses to “Marriott reveals allegations against Michael Irvin; his lawyer calls them “total hogwash”

  1. Classic case of she said, he said. The issue for Irvin is he doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt as readily as someone else because of his past. I’d imagine it gets settled because it just went in the gutter and will probably only get uglier for both sides.

  2. Why are Irvin’s alleged witnesses considered to be credible but the hotel’s are not? Irvin’s alleged witnesses have not submitted affidavits or testified under oath either.

  3. The victim’s statement about the encounter is very specific. Meanwhile, Irvin has admitted that he was intoxicated and does not remember what happened. Who is more credible?

  4. Too many details to be false. Irvin’s gotta learn this ain’t the 80s. Any and everyone are waiting to accuse you of something

  5. If McCathern thinks that the video supports his client why doesn’t he release it now? Why wait until next week?

  6. I could imagine that entire alleged interaction coming from an retired ball player like Irvin.

  7. Curious if the video will show the “leering”. Honestly not sure what leering looks like but maybe the video will show him touching her arm and slapping his face 3 times. Think I’ll get in front of a mirror and attempt to leer. I will report my findings..

  8. Verbal assault. The video won’t show anything without audio. It was inappropriate. He deserved getting dumped by ESPN because he’s a vulgar pig. Trying to push a video agenda is the same as forcing a leather glove to fit.

  9. Nobody’s suggesting these people are lying. Irvin might have done exactly what the employee is saying he did.

  10. Video schmideo. It’s about what was said – and Irvin went public saying he’d been drinking and doesn’t know what he said.

  11. irvin might just get cancelled for real now. if the details of these allegations prove to be true i wonder if he will apologize to everyone for trying to play the race card. hmmmmm

  12. Why is Mariott still stone walling on releasing the video? Does the video not match their version of the story?

    This thing keeps getting weirder.

  13. Irvin was allegedly intoxicated and had no memory of what took place. I believe the woman. If he did in fact make these statements he won’t be on radio or TV again.

  14. Michael Irvin is going to make more money from this than he ever did playing in the NFL

  15. Sounds about what drunk Michael Irvin would say to a strange female. Or sober Michael Irvin would say. Or coked up Michael Irvin would say…..

  16. Scuzzy, but not discipline-worthy by the network unless he has a history of poor behavior. Oh wait! He does.

  17. If the employee’s version turns out to be true (and I don’t doubt for a second that a hammered football player said those things) MI needs to be held to task for openly playing the race card regarding a situation he was admittedly too drunk to remember.

  18. Let’s just keep this in perspective. Our last president proudly admitted to giving women the shocker without their consent because he was famous and could do as he pleased. 70 million people still voted for him.

  19. Marriott is a racist company that is still smearing Michael Irvin’s name. The accuser has no evidence of her claims. No one heard him ask her if she ever had a black man inside her and it’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. It sounds made up and it reminds me of what happened to that black kid that allegedly whistled at a white woman only to be killed for committing no crime what so ever. Isn’t Michael Irvin married to a Black Woman? White Women don’t seem to be his preference. Everything about this story reeks of racism and bigotry from Marriott and the so called accuser. Where is this accuser? Why isn’t her name or face known? If this really happened to her why is she allowed to hide like a coward?

  20. So,Irvin supposedly made inappropriate comments that made the employee feel uncomfortable and unsafe. She went to her manager and reported it. The manager believes his employee and as a result tells Irvin he is no longer welcome at their hotel. As a former hotel manager, I have removed guests for that exact same reason. It is well within the hotel’s rights to do that. The NFL is spending a whole lot of money at their hotel, the GM is not going to make the decision to remove Irvin lightly. NFLN apparently belives the hotel’s version and suspends Irvin. His employer didn’t believe his version. That should tell us a lot.

  21. It is no surprise that he is leveraging this lawsuit in the court of public opinion to get back into the good graces of ESPN and NFL Network. After all, Irvin always was quite adept at getting away with offensive interference.

  22. Unbelievable! He touched her arm! Should be worth a couple of million in American courts where you can probably sue your neighbour for sneezing in front of your house.

  23. This sound like the script of a bad TV movie. Plus all this would take longer than 45 seconds like Michael said. Also if he is yelling across the bar alot of people would hear this. Bottom line..put that tape out there. If he did all this it’s on the tape…show us the tape.

  24. How many times do employees of a hotel need to deal with patrons in the wee hours that have had too much to drink? If it isn’t every night it would have to be said that it happens often. Why was this made into such a big deal? If the supposed agressor was a shoe saleman from Detroit and not an ex-nfl player of note would anyone have every heard of this? I seriously doubt it. At the very least it sounds like it is a true drama queen at the center of this complaint.

  25. This is very different from what Michael Irvin described. A young hotel employee being cornered and spoken to this way is cause for Marriott to complain to NFL Network and frankly, NFL Network had just cause to release him. For once, I believe the NFL handled this exactly right.

  26. Irvin sounds like a class act. “Hogwash” and “sheep dip” are synonymous in this case. [Sheep dip definition: a liquid preparation for cleansing sheep of parasites]. Or, in this case, an alcoholic drink used by Irvin to remove himself from NFL Network employment…

  27. For people who know Irvin, especially in his playing days this sounds about right. If he was drunk or anything else, I could see this. That said, being an inappropriate jerk should not mean his career is flushed away. Take note of the world we live in gents. People are losing everything because someone was made “uncomfortable”. It’s a disgrace.

  28. Some of you really need to do your homework: 1. Michael Irvin wasn’t drinking alcohol..he had a club soda, 2. The video that the lawyer watched shows her coming from behind the desk and approaching him. Yes, Mike has past misdeeds and its “Guilty until proven innocent” to some of you. Me? It reeks of someone attempting to get paid. The Michael Irvin of old doesnt exist. Watch how this all plays out…its not the first time someone has attempted to take advantage of Irvin and his status.

  29. Maybe they will refuse to release the video for 26 months and then claim it is a threat to Democracy when it is released.

  30. He’s completely guilty. Sounds exactly like what you would expect to come out of his mouth. He can’t change who he is. Own it.

  31. People in the comments want Irving to be guilty so bad lol. I’m not a big fan of his but this lawsuit is garbage and anyone thinking with their mind and not their dislike for Irving can see that.

  32. None of us know what actually happened, but that hasn’t stopped a lot of grandstanding here in the comment section.

  33. Jerry Jones, Dan Snyder, and DeShaun Watson. Lots of skeletons in the NFL closet. Let the truth come out and take swift action. Marriott gives Irvin a large settlement or Irvin’s broadcasting career is done. Let justice ring out

  34. Just release the video. It won’t have the audio, but it should show the physical interaction they are claiming. If it does, it’s basically an open and shut case. However if doesn’t show any of this. Marriot is going to be in trouble.

  35. A deposition from the women would settle the matter. Video will not tell us exactly what was said. There was no video in the Watson cases either

  36. Michael Irvin was the prime target in an extortion attempt by this Marriott employee & Marriott has for whatever reason right or wrong decided to stand with their employee. This will be a “get your popcorn” court case if it goes that far!

  37. Strange, how the same people who believe he was honest when he said that he had been drinking say that he is dishonest about being innocent. You don’t see the irony in this?

  38. Based on this, NFL was right to pull Irvin off TV that week. He represents the NFL, particularly during SB week and that’s not a good look as a representative. Notice she or Mariott didn’t push any charges, its just him suing for $100m. I would rule against Irvin’s lawsuit in this. network’s actions were justified.

  39. If it had anything at all to do with perceived leering, he really should take issue with that. Because, if he’s looking straight ahead, and something enters his field of vision, that’s merely a happenstance.

  40. If it is true, he is a drunken letch but not guilty of sexual assault. I have had drunk women in bars say worse to me and I have not filed any suits yet.

  41. “After Irvin finished leering at the Victim and turned back to Employee 1, he said aloud, ‘She bad,’ ‘She bad,’ ‘I want to hit that,’ and slapped himself in the face three times, saying, ‘Keep it together, Mike,’” Marriott’s lawyers contend.

    No audio but if there is video of him slapping himself on the face, Marriot wins. Like a silent movie, body language will tell the whole story, whether she was taken aback or a casual interaction. Release the tape.

  42. I saw Irving out on the town once. If he was having a similarly good time as when I saw him, his memory of what happened is probably foggy.

  43. Just because one portion of what Marriott says happened may be true, doesn’t mean it all is. YOu can bet that Marriott’s lawyers viewed the video and made sure that whatever story they presented, it agreed with the video.

  44. Now for the comment that definitely won’t make the cut. When I saw Irving at BB Kings on Beale St in Memphis, he was SMASHED. A dude accused him of smoking crack in the bathroom, not sharing the crack with him and attacked Irving. He put a cigarette out on Irvin and Irving didn even notice. His entourage, then attacked the man causing a small riot. It was a great night.

  45. Marriott having the benefit of the video most likely made sure the statements of the matched the video. Irvin saying he doesn’t remember can’t refute what he can’t remember. I find it believable now that he said something he wished he hadn’t therefore slapped himself in the face for saying something stupid and less likely as sign of saying something, encouraging to a stranger.

  46. I can understand why The hotel is reluctant to give the video to Irwin and his lawyers right now. They want to create a safe space for employees to be able to report misconduct. Irwin is trying this case in the court of public opinion.

  47. Marriot or the hotel manager has the right to throw anyone out for almost any reason. Marriot did not fire or suspend Irvin from his job so he is suing the wrong people. He has to prove more likely than not that this woman and Marriot plotted to damage his career. I’d say good luck but the luck won’t help with this one. Its a frivolous lawsuit. You don’t get money for having some general sad feelings and throwing the race card around.

  48. Now it’s just he said/she said. Marriott took their sweet time releasing the video and now crafted a silent script that can match the video once released. I’ll wait for all information but Marriott is dodgy in not following judge order.

  49. Even if he said it who cares? bad words ARE NOT A LAWSUIT this isn’t harassment by any means and I don’t think he said anything pure money grab.

  50. See I can’t get in this brand of trouble. “Ever had an average white guy?”… I just get laughed at.

  51. Lol, no way Marriott’s claim is not true. All Irvin and his lawyers did was poke a friendly bear for monetary reasons.

  52. The whole story is consistent with his well documented prior behavior. The marriott appears to be trying to lower the temperature on this and Irvin and his team are playing a losing hand

  53. Although the video won’t necessarily show what was said. It will definitely show whether he touched her, slapped himself, and “leered”. Also you should be able to tell if someone is uncomfortable. Especially if other co-workers were able to see it. The video may not show everything but it will show some things. Lots of people seem to point the finger at each side without any evidence. Let’s see how this plays out.

  54. Irvin’s lawyer admitted he touched her four times. Shaking her hand in the beginning and at the end of their conversation, and two other times during their exchange. Once on the elbow and once on the shoulder. There was touching…

  55. IF he said what’s being reported he deserves everything that is about to fall on his tiny little head.

  56. One thing that neither the article or any of these comments mention is that he is married. It does say something about his character that along with his past. Where there is smoke there is fire. At the end of the day though I think it’s all going to be dropped. Her witnesses viewed her being uncomfortable (which is subjective at best) they didn’t hear the entire conversation. His witnesses I am sure are going to say whatever he needs them to say. Though it may hurt him in the pocketbook if he loses media money, so Irving may go after Marriott civilly for defamation which in turn opens Irving up to everything, not just the details of this case.

  57. Back in the mid-1970s, I was 15 years old and working in a food concession stand at Jarry Park, home of the Montreal Expos. In those days we had to walk under the stands to get to our concession stands while during practices expos fielders could walk from the outfield to under the stands to get to their clubhouse. So I would often see various expos walk pass me under the stands. One day I was walking through with an attractive female coworker when a journeyman outfielder walked up to us and started to make conversation. It was obvious he was very interested in my colleague. He introduced himself to her in broken English but she didn’t understand because she only spoke French, so he had me translate. He found her very beautiful and wanted to go out with her. He said that language wasn’t an issue. After I forwarded the message that she was married, he replied that it didn’t matter. It was obvious that his goal was to sleep with her. But despite his charm and charisma he struck out.
    At that time my Dad worked outside the Expos clubhouse as a stadium security guard, responsible for keeping unwanted people from entering. He told me that various female groupies would sit in the lower right field stands and start up conversations with various expos in between innings in hope of scoring a “date”.
    So stories such as the Michael Irvin one certainly doesn’t surprise
    me. The question is, what’s the truth?

  58. Even if he said it who cares? bad words ARE NOT A LAWSUIT this isn’t harassment by any means and I don’t think he said anything pure money


    Not sure you understand is suing who here.

  59. The allegations against him are damning. On the face of it, her credibility holds up much better than his insofar as she was likely sober and clear headed while he was admittedly drunk. She gave very specific details about what he said to her and it’s deplorable.

  60. Let’s see the tape and if the grabbing and touching matches the account then there is some credibility to it. Otherwise, this smells like a money grab.

  61. Hmmm, I wonder what Sandy, his wife, thinks about her husband hitting on other women. Michael appears to be what he has always been going back to his days with the Cowboys…..Scumbag.

  62. For those folks claiming money grab, you mean its a money grab by Irvin, right? Because he is the only one with a lawsuit here trying to get money.

  63. Mr. Irvin needs to take a class on how to approach a woman. Maybe that line worked in the past, but not with today’s culture. The guy is looking for trouble.

  64. Withholding the video is definitely a bad look for the hotel. However,since Irvin admitted that he was drinking and can’t remember what he said,it’s going to come down to whose witnesses are to be believed. Given Irvin’s track record,it’s not hard to imagine him drunk and speaking in this offensive way to an attractive woman. Not saying that he did,but it’s pretty gross.

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