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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Michael Irvin Returns to TV As Legal Fight Continues

  • Irvin debuted on Skip Bayless' revamped "Undisputed" FS1 show on Monday morning.
  • New details emerged in incident that led to ongoing NFL Network suspension.
Michael Irvin
Gary Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

As Michael Irvin debuted as a member of Skip Bayless’s revamped cast on FS1’s “Undisputed” Monday morning, some more details emerged in his legal fight with Marriott. 

Irvin remains suspended by the NFL Network after an alleged incident outside the bar area of a Phoenix hotel days before February’s Super Bowl LVII. A Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel employee alleged a day after the interaction that Irvin sexually propositioned her and touched her arm without consent.

In March, Irvin sued the hotel chain in an Arizona court.

Marriott alleged in the filing obtained by Front Office Sports as part of the civil case in Maricopa County that Irvin “had no recollection of what he said to Jane Doe because he had been drinking.” The filing was entered into the docket on Saturday.

“Plaintiff [Irvin] now claims that Jane Doe’s statements concerning her interaction with Plaintiff, as well as the hotel’s disclosure of those statements to the NFL pursuant to its contract with the NFL and Arizona law, were defamatory and placed him in a false light,” Marriott’s lawyers wrote. 

The two sides agreed to enter into settlement talks and would be ready for a trial next August if a settlement can’t be reached, according to the filing.

In the same joint report, Irvin’s attorneys described the interaction as “innocent.” 

“No harassment, assault or inappropriate conduct occurred during this brief interaction between Mr. Irvin and Ms. Doe, as confirmed by multiple, independent eyewitnesses,” Irvin’s legal team wrote.

The former Dallas Cowboys star is still in limbo since he was evicted from the hotel after the alleged incident. Beyond NFL Network, ESPN also sidelined Irvin as a contributor on “First Take.”

Irvin initially sued Marriott for $100 million. Video obtained as part of Irvin’s legal push hasn’t fully exonerated Irvin, something his Dallas-based lawyer Levi McCathern promised it would. Surveillance video in public spaces like hotels are legally barred from recording audio. 

Monday’s filing in the current lawsuit filed in Maricopa County was the first in about two months.

The NFLN regards his new “Undisputed” role as a part-time gig, said sources, similar to his previous guest debate role on Stephen A. Smith’s“First Take.” Irvin’s position with the league’s cable channel remained unchanged as of Sunday night.

Irvin’s guest appearances on “First Take” last season revitalized his career. Smith wanted to retain Irvin among his rotating team of guest debaters. But Irvin chose to join Smith’s former partner Bayless on the rival “Undisputed.”

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