ARIZONA: Marriott revealed its own version of what happened during a meeting last month between Michael Irvin and a hotel employee who wanted to accuse the NFL Network analyst of making unwelcome sexual advances. The NFL icon was in Arizona to cover the Super Bowl, but was relieved of pregame anchoring duties after an employee at the Renaissance Phoenix Hotel & Spa accused him of harassing her.
Irvin, who compared the incident to a ‘lynching’ during a press briefing, is now suing ‘Jane Doe’ and Marriott for $100 million in damages after the latter initially refused to release a video of internal video surveillance of the incident. Marriott hit back with its own account of what happened on February 5 in a motion filed Friday in response to the lawsuit, the Daily Mail reports.
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Why was Michael Irvin removed from the Super Bowl?
Former Dallas Cowboys hero Michael Irvin defended himself Wednesday, March 8, following allegations of inappropriate behavior at his hotel during the Super Bowl that led to his expulsion from the NFL Network and ESPN. The Hall of Fame expressed anger at the punishment, but denied knowledge of the specific charges. “It makes me sick,” Irvin said. “How can I defend myself, if I don’t even know what I’m defending against?” reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Hall of Famer Michael Irvin dances on stage during the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft on April 28, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada (David Becker/Getty Images)
During the week leading up to Super Bowl LVII, Irvin was suspended from broadcasts on the NFL Network and ESPN following allegations of inappropriate behavior at the Marriott Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel in Arizona. Few details emerged after Irvin’s encounter with a Marriott employee on the evening of Feb. 5, and the Hall of Fame sued Marriott for $100 million. According to The Athletic, Marriott alleged in a court filing that Irvin made “harassing and inappropriate comments.”
What Did Marriot Reveal?
In a 28-page petition filed Friday and obtained by USA Today, Marriott first slammed Irvin for asserting his innocence at a Wednesday press conference, saying it took him “back to a time when a white woman would accuse a black man of something, and they would take a bunch of guys that was above the law, run into a barn, put a rope around his foot and drag him through the mud and hang him from a tree.”
“Irvin’s attorney provided a self-serving and inaccurate summary of the video footage produced by Marriott, including his assertion that the footage proves Irvin did nothing wrong, and then handed the microphone over to Irvin to that he makes racist statements,” Marriott said in the filing.
Michael Irvin was ‘visibly drunk’
The NFL has asked the hotel to notify them of any incidents involving visitors who stayed in their block of rooms on Feb. 4, the day before the game. Irvin allegedly stopped the employee that night and “appeared visibly drunk” before behaving aggressively toward the employee, shaking her hand, complimenting her on her looks and asking if she was watching football, according to Marriott.
What did Michael Irvin tell the woman?
The lawsuit reads: “Irvin reached out and touched the victim’s arm during this conversation without her consent, causing her to recoil, becoming visibly uncomfortable. Irvin then asked the victim if she knew something about having a big black man inside [her]. Irvin then attempted to grab the victim’s hand again and said he was “sorry if it brought back bad memories for him”. The victim pulled her hand away and tried to pull away from Irvin as he continued to walk towards her.”
According to the lawsuit, two hotel employees noticed their co-worker was agitated when she returned to work, and the complainant returned to work the next day and reported the matter to her supervisor, who instructed her to report the complaint to loss prevention. The accuser, referred to as the “victim” in the most recent request and “Jane Doe” in previous requests, was later interviewed by NFL investigators, and Irvin checked out of the hotel that evening. The woman has not yet filed a complaint with the Phoenix police.
In the same court document, Marriott asked the court to issue a protective order to ensure the safety and privacy of those whose identities are revealed in the video, expressing concern that the video will become public and wishing to avoid that the matter receives too much attention. before the trial. Marriott eventually provided Irvin and his attorneys with an unedited video of the discussion, which took place in the lobby on Friday after the court repeatedly requested that the evidence be produced.