Cowboy Legend Under Investigation in Sexual Battery Case
29 Mar, 2017
Fort Lauderdale police are investigating an alleged sexual battery case at a beach side hotel that involves former NFL star Michael Irvin, an agency spokeswoman said.
“He has been named as someone who is being investigated in the case, but he has not been charged with any offense and has not been arrested,” Detective Tracy Figone said Wednesday.
Irvin’s lawyer Larry Friedman of Dallas said of the allegations, “We think this is an extortion attempt. There was absolutely no assault and no sexual assault.”
Documents that may have named Irvin or described the alleged incident were not available Wednesday, according Figone.
“It’s an open investigation,” Figone said.
If calls were made to 911, those recordings also were being withheld, she said.
The alleged victim reported Wednesday at 4 a.m. that a sexual battery happened at the W Hotel, 401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., according to police.
Friedman, Irvin’s lawyer, said the retired athlete was in South Florida last week to attend a birthday party for a 90-year-old aunt and as well as the track meets for a niece and nephew.
“I have represented Michael for 20 years and I know him very well,” Friedman said. “Michael has always been candid with me. He was completely blindsided and didn’t learn about this until yesterday, from the press, almost a week after the allegations were made.”
Friedman said he was speaking on Irvin’s behalf, and said his client has never been arrested or charged with sexual assault or battery.
“He unequivocally denies the allegations that were made,” Friedman said.
The lawyer said he has tried to reach the detective investigating the case and that he and Irvin are prepared to meet with authorities.
“We’re willing to cooperate fully,” Friedman said. “We want to know the extent of the allegations and the evidence, and we’re willing to supply blood, sit for interviews, cooperate and do whatever it takes to get to the bottom of the allegations.”
Friedman said the night of the alleged attack, Irvin was at a nightclub called Exit 66, at 219 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. The club’s phone was not working Wednesday.
“He was always with a group of people,” Friedman said. “He was not alone with this woman, he was never alone with this woman. It is my understanding she was at the club.”
He said he also tried to reach the accuser but was not yet successful.
“I want to depose her and get a statement under oath and find out what she is actually saying,” Friedman said.
Irvin, 51, was born in Fort Lauderdale, according to his website.
His football career took off at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. As a University of Miami wide receiver, he was part of the team that won the 1987 National Championship.
As a professional, Irvin played for the Dallas Cowboys on teams that won three Super Bowls. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
On its website, the National Football League lists him as an analyst for the “NFL Total Access Kickoff” pregame show that airs on the NFL network.