TMZ Sports reports a pair of people who claimed to have witnesses Irvin alleged inappropriate conduct on Sunday at an Arizona hotel have tried to clarify the situation.
One person told TMZ on Thursday the encounter between Irvin and the unnamed female “was a positive, friendly conversation. They had a brief interaction, it was 30-40 seconds, he kept his distance at all times, stood about a meter away from her, they ended with a handshake and he literally turned around and went to the lift.”
A second person who claimed to witness the encounter said the same thing.
“We walked back to go into the bar, [Irvin] went straight to go to his hotel room, and I guess somebody that worked there, I don’t know if it was a waitress or a bartender I guess came up and said, ‘Hey Michael Irvin.’ And he said, ‘Oh, nice to meet you, I’m Michael’ and shook her hand. The crazy part was it was like a 30-second interaction. It could’ve been a minute. I didn’t really think much of it ‘cause it was just a fan kind of thing.”
Irvin filed a $100 lawsuit Thursday after being sent home from the Super Bowl due to the situation. The NFL Network pulled Irving from the coverage of Super Bowl LVII.
Per TMZ Sports, the Pro Football Hall of Famer claims he’s being “railroaded” as a victim of “cancel culture.” As a result, he filed a lawsuit against the unnamed accuser and Marriott, the parent company of the Renaissance Hotel, which was the location of the alleged incident.
According to the lawsuit, witnesses backed Irvin’s initial claim that he “casually exchanged pleasantries” with the employee (“Jane Doe”), “shook her hand, and went to his room alone.” However, once Irvin and his team became aware of the allegations, they say they attempted to provide witness accounts to the hotel in an effort to rectify any misunderstanding, but they say the Renaissance refused to listen. In fact, the lawsuit accuses the hotel manager of reporting the alleged incident to the NFL “with the intention of damaging that relationship and canceling [Irvin].”
Irvin’s attorney says as a result of the allegations, the NFL legend had his reputation damaged and lost money because of canceled appearances.
Irvin told his side of the story to the Dallas Morning News and described the interaction on Sunday “as a brief, public and largely non-physical encounter. He said he engaged in no physical contact with the woman beyond a handshake when they parted ways.”
“Honestly, I’m a bit baffled with it all,” Irvin said. “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.”
Irvin told the Dallas Morning News he hasn’t seen the woman since the initial encounter. He also said he couldn’t remember “the full nature of their conversation but insisted the only physical contact between the two was the handshake.”
“I don’t really recall that conversation, to tell you the truth,” Irvin said. “We were out drinking. It was just a friendly conversation. ‘What’s up?’ I don’t even know. … I am totally perplexed. … There was definitely nothing physical. … That’s honestly all that happened. Nobody was in my room. It was a 45-second conversation in the lobby, a handshake and we left. … I don’t know. I don’t know what this is, and it’s running me crazy.”
According to the Dallas Morning News, a Glendale police spokesperson and officials from other local police agencies said Tuesday “they have no knowledge of any incident involving Irvin.”