The truth is out there. And Michael Irvin is one step closer to discovering it.
The Dallas Morning News reports “A federal judge Wednesday ordered Marriott to provide Michael Irvin any and all video recordings, witness statements and written reports associated with his stay at a Phoenix hotel last month, delivering a significant win for the former Cowboys wide receiver in his $100 million lawsuit against the hotel chain.”
On Tuesday, the hotel chain went on the offensive, requesting a federal judge deny Irvin’s “request for an expedited release of hotel video footage and other evidence relating to his $100 million defamation lawsuit.”
Marriott argued within a 15-page motion that Irvin’s only urgency for the request — filed Friday in the Eastern District of Texas — is “litigating in the court of public opinion in an effort to convince the NFL to let him cover the NFL Combine,” which is happening this week in Indianapolis.
But the presiding judge didn’t see it that way.
As part of U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant’s order, the woman’s name can be redacted from any documents Marriott supplies, and Marriott must produce the evidence by March 7 at 5 p.m., according to a court document The News obtained. The information is expected to provide key details of the woman’s account.
Earlier this week, The Athletic’s Daniel Kaplan reported “Marriott filed to dismiss Michael Irvin’s $100 mil defamation, tortious interference suit, noting it leases its brand to but does not own the Phoenix hotel where Irvin allegedly made ‘harassing and inappropriate’ comments to a hotel worker Super Bowl week.”
Last week, Kaplan reported “Marriott is seeking to move the Michael Irvin lawsuit to federal court, according to a notice on the Collin County court docket.”
According to Pro Football Talk, that move could come back to haunt the hotel chain, which is named as a defendant in Irvin’s lawsuit. Why? Because “the federal judge who’ll handle the case will be naturally inclined to look more favorably on Irvin’s claims.”
In cases between individuals and corporations, federal judges appointed by Democratic administrations are more likely to issue favorable rulings to the individuals. … Amos L. Mazzant III will handle Irvin’s case. Judge Mazzant was appointed by Barack Obama, and he has handled other NFL-related cases. Most notably, Judge Mazzant blocked the suspension imposed on Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott under the Personal Conduct Policy in 2017.
Irvin filed the lawsuit after an alleged incident before Super Bowl LVII in Arizona. TMZ reported the former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver scored pair of legal wins last month. That’s because a judge ordered the Arizona hotel now must turn over any video it has of an interaction the Hall of Famer had with a woman that ultimately led to his removal from NFL Network’s Super Bowl coverage.
The judge also ordered that the hotel must provide the name of Irvin’s accuser … as well as anyone else who may have filed a complaint against the former football player. In the order, the judge also ruled the hotel must reveal the names of the NFL employees who received the complaints.
TMZ previously reported a pair of people who claimed to have witnessed Irvin’s alleged inappropriate conduct one week before Super Bowl LVII at an Arizona hotel indicated the three-time Super Bowl champion did nothing wrong.
Kaplan reported “Michael Irvin in a court filing named three witnesses who say are described as saying they did not see him misbehave as alleged the Sunday before the Super Bowl in a hotel lobby, an allegation that got him knocked of NFL Network and led to his defamation lawsuit against Marriott.”
According to TMZ, Irvin filed a $100 million lawsuit in Arizona days after after being sent home from the Super Bowl.
The New York Post reported NFL Network pulled Irvin from its coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs in Glendale, Ariz. “after a woman at a hotel made an unspecified complaint.”
Per TMZ, the Pro Football Hall of Famer claimed 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 “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.”