Michael Irvin Files $100 Million Lawsuit Against Marriot Over False Sexual Assault Report

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2024 | Criminal Defense, Uncategorized |

Video Evidence Exonerated Retired NFL Superstar

Michael Irvin, the Hall of Fame wide receiver turned NFL Network analyst, was abruptly taken off the Super Bowl coverage for the network in 2023 after it was alleged that he sexually assaulted a hotel worker at an Arizona Marriot in the days leading up to the championship game. However, he denied the allegations and sued the hotel chain and several workers for defamation, seeking $100 million in damages, after security video footage showed that the allegations were unfounded. The video, which Marriot attempted to prevent from being released, shows Irvin returning to the hotel after a night out, having a brief conversation with the accuser, before shaking hands with the woman, touching her arm twice, and then the two parted ways without any animus or noteworthy interaction. “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.” No criminal charges were ever filed against Mr. Irvin in relation to the alleged conduct, but his lawsuit alleges that he still suffered damages as a result of accusation.

Proposed Illinois Law Seeks to Shield Accusers from Lawsuits

This is not the first instance of an NFL player being falsely accused of misconduct that we have previously covered. NFL punter Matt Araiza was recently dropped from a civil suit which accused him of participating in a sexual assault in exchange for dropping a defamation lawsuit he had filed against his accuser. Such an avenue to defend oneself from false accusations may not be available for those accused in Illinois in the future, as a proposed bill would raise the threshold required for a defendant to file a defamation lawsuit against their accuser. Under the proposed legislation, “The Right to Speak Your Truth Act” accusers would be insulated from being sued for defamation in response to an accusation of sexual assault or sexual violence by creating almost impossibly high standards of proof at the initial pleading stage for a defamation suit against an accuser to proceed. Although the bill did not reach the congressional floor for a vote, if the bill were to become law, anyone accused of sexual assault or sexual violence will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles in bringing a lawsuit and being able to defend their reputation.


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