Irvin’s legal team in his $100 million suit against the hotel chain showed the video on Tuesday.

By Michael Gehlken

Former Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin and his legal team released what they hope will be illuminating video from a February encounter the Hall of Famer had with a female Marriott employee that launched accusations against the player and a $100 million lawsuit against the hotel chain.

A prepared presentation Tuesday highlighted 20 bullet points before the video was shown, raising questions about the incident that led to Irvin’s eventual removal from the hotel and cancellation of his Super Bowl-week appearances.

The employee accused Irvin of making unwanted advances during a hotel lobby conversation, including a lewd comment and statement that he would find her later. The specifics weren’t released until last Friday.

Irvin countered shortly after the Feb. 5 encounter by suing Marriott for defamation and tortious interference in a business relationship. He moved the $100 million lawsuit Monday from a federal court in Texas to an Arizona state court ahead of Tuesday’s news conference.

Marriott’s first publicly disclosed information about the incident painted a picture of a drunken Irvin trying to pick up the woman at Renaissance Phoenix Downtown while the pair were speaking near the hotel lobby bar.

Watch video of the Michael Irvin Marriott hotel incident

“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 in the document. “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.”

Irvin’s lead attorney, Levi McCathern, disputed the details from Marriott. “Total hogwash,” McCathern said Friday in a statement to The News. “Marriott’s recently-created account goes against all the eyewitnesses and Michael’s own testimony as well as common sense.”

Michael Irvin (center) looks to his lead attorney Levi McCathern (right) alongside Irvin’s agent Steve Mandell (left) as McCathern points out portions of a video of Irvin and a female staffer from the Phoenix Renaissance Hotel at a press conference at the Regency Plaza in Dallas on Tuesday, March 14, 2023.(Liesbeth Powers / Staff Photographer)

Before Tuesday’s video viewing, McCathern questioned the women’s motivation to speak to the wide receiver, describing her as trying to intercept the former Cowboys player and catch his attention.

The 3 minute, 10-second video, which has no sound, shows the employee and Irvin standing off to the side of a hotel bar, having a conversation. The video was narrated by Irvin’s legal team during the initial viewing, offering a different interpretation of the body language shown. The conversation appears to last about 1 minute, 45 seconds.

In the video, the employee appears to be engaged by Irvin when she walks into the bar area at the 31-second mark of the video. The pair shake hands, then move about two feet from the bar while they speak. Irvin touches her left arm with his right hand at the 1:44 mark, and the woman steps back as they continue to speak, about two feet away from each other. They then appear to share a laugh, shaking hands at the 2:20 mark as another employee approaches, standing off and then approaching seconds later when the conversation ends. Irvin looks back toward the bar, appears to jokingly slap himself three times and then the employee takes a selfie with Irvin at the 2:48 mark near an exterior door.

Irvin and the second employee head back toward the lobby chatting, and they go their separate ways at the 3:08 mark.

Last week, after multiple court orders, Irvin acquired the tape.

U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant chided Marriott for the delay in producing the video. As recourse, Irvin not only received a nonmodified version of the footage Friday, without the woman’s face being blurred, but he also was allowed to release the video to the public.

A day before the video release, Irvin filed paperwork Monday for the lawsuit’s voluntary dismissal from Eastern District federal court. But the lawsuit is still alive, and no settlement has been reached between the sides. The case moved because Irvin and his legal team have collected more information on the incident and parties involved, influencing the case’s jurisdiction, McCathern told The News on Tuesday.

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