Marriot has released its own account of what happened during a meeting between Michael Irvin and a hotel employee last month, accusing the NFL Network analyst of making unwanted sexual advances.
The NFL legend was in Arizona to work the Super Bowl, but was let go from his broadcast duties before the game after an employee at the Renaissance Phoenix Hotel & Spa accused him of harassing her.
Irvin is now seeking $100 million in damages from ‘Jane Doe’ and the Marriott – the latter initially reluctant to share internal surveillance footage of the incident – and likened the situation to a modern-day lynching during a ‘a press conference.
Marriott filed a motion Friday in response to the lawsuit, responding with its own version of events from the Feb. 5 encounter.
The petition seen by DailyMail.com claimed the 57-year-old’s characterization of the incident was inaccurate and accused Irvin of making unwanted sexual advances, asking the employee ‘if she knew anything about having a ‘big black man inside (of her).’
“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 petition.
“It takes me back to a time when a white woman would accuse a black man of something and they would pick up a bunch of guys who were above the law, run into the barn, put a rope around his foot and drag him into the mud and hang it by the tree,’ Irvin had said at a press conference earlier this week.
Marriott claims in the filing that Irvin “appeared visibly drunk” and approached the accuser, shaking her hand, stating that she was attractive and asking if she was watching football.
“Irvin also 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 anything about having a ‘big black man inside of her’,” the lawsuit states.
“Irvin then tried to grab the victim’s hand again and said he was ‘sorry if it brought back bad memories’.” The victim pulled her hand away and tried to pull away from Irvin as he continued to walk towards her.
Two other hotel employees reportedly noticed their colleague was uncomfortable when she returned to work and the accuser went to work the next day and reported the incident to her manager, who told her to wear complaint to Loss Prevention, according to the lawsuit.
The filing also claimed that after the accuser left the interaction, Irvin turned to another employee saying out loud: ‘She’s bad’, ‘She’s bad’, ‘I wanna hit that’ , then ‘slapped himself three times, saying ‘let’s keep this together Mike.’
The accuser was later questioned by NFL investigators, and Irvin left the hotel later that night.
Irvin’s attorney, Levi McCathern, denied the allegations.
“The allegations are absurd,” McCathern said. “We need to get Michael back to work immediately, and I think Renaissance needs to apologize.”
Marriott eventually released the video from the Marriott hotel in Phoenix, Arizona, after a federal court ordered the chain to do so.
Although the network did not give him a copy or allow him to save the footage, McCathern said the exchange between the accuser – a hotel employee – and Irvin appeared innocent.
McCathern says the tape shows Irvin and the woman meeting behind a pole before entering the camera’s field of view.
The attorney says Irvin was only seen touching the woman four times – twice for a hello and goodbye handshake, as well as two touches on the elbow.
“She never acts angry,” McCathern said of the woman’s behavior.
“She doesn’t act like there are any problems at all.”
Along with the video, McCathern produced two witnesses via Zoom who were in the lobby when the alleged incident happened – saying they saw nothing inappropriate between the two.
The two men who were in the lobby of a Phoenix hotel the night Hall of Fame catcher Irvin was accused of misconduct with a female employee said they did not see him do anything wrong and that his brief interaction with the woman seemed friendly.
Phil Watkins of Australia and Bryn Davis of Philadelphia appeared at a press conference via video link with Irvin and his attorney.
Watkins said he saw “nothing at all” that could be considered inappropriate, and Irvin and the woman shook hands and laughed.
“There was nothing untoward about the interaction,” and Irvin quickly left for the elevator as the woman walked back to the bar, Watkins said.