Marriott has revealed the details of an accusation of sexual harassment — made by a hotel employee against former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin — in a document that was filed by the hotel chain in federal court.
According to a report published Friday by the Dallas Morning News, the document gives a full account of the woman’s accusations against Irvin — which include allegedly drunken and “aggressive” behavior and a lewd comment that she claims he made before promising to come back and find her later.
The incident allegedly occurred in the lobby of the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown on February 5, and the woman said that she was simply walking through the lobby when Irvin “flagged her down.”
During the conversation that followed, she claimed that Irvin had appeared to be drunk and was attempting to flirt with her, asking for her name and telling her his before asking whether she had ever heard of him. She said that she had not.
“Irvin also reached out and touched the Victim’s arm during this conversation without her consent, causing her to step back, becoming visibly uncomfortable,” Marriott attorney Nathan Chapman wrote. “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,” the filing continued.
It was at that point that two of the woman’s coworkers reportedly intervened, seeing that she appeared to be uncomfortable. Irvin allegedly joked that “security” had caught on to him when he saw them approaching, and reached out to shake the woman’s hand.
When she returned the handshake, Irvin allegedly promised to “find her” again later on that week if she was working.
Irvin has responded to the allegations through his attorney, Levi McCathern:
“Total hogwash. Marriott’s recently-created account goes against all the eyewitnesses and Michael’s own testimony as well as common sense. 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. I was shocked by Marriott’s prior handling of this situation. I am now disgusted and appalled. I wish trial was tomorrow, so Michael could clear his name and get the compensation he deserves for Marriott’s reckless disregard for the truth.”
Irvin has filed a lawsuit against Marriott, seeking $100 million in damages. Following the initial accusation, the former player-turned-commentator was removed from Super Bowl coverage on the NFL Network and ESPN.