Woman Sues Michael Irvin Over Alleged Rape

Irvin's show taken off the air early

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    TK
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    A Florida woman is suing former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin, alleging that he and a friend raped her more than two years ago.

    Irvin filed suit Friday against the woman for defamation, slander, extortion and conspiracy. The lawsuit says the woman is a "morally bankrupt individual attempting to destroy the hard-earned reputation and career of a highly acclaimed sports broadcaster."

    "These statements were known by (the woman) to be false at the time they were made and were made with the specific intent to defame Irvin and disparage his business, his image, reputation and ultimately destroy his career," the lawsuit states.

    The woman, revealed only as Jane Doe in her suit, said she met Irvin and a friend of his at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in July 2007. The woman alleges Irvin bought her drinks in the hotel bar and then sexually assaulted her in his hotel room. She said the other man forced her to perform oral sex.

    The other man is unidentified because, according to the woman's lawyer, David Lister, she doesn't know who he is, ESPN reports.

    The incident was reported a few weeks later to Seminole police, but Seminole tribal spokesman Gary Bitner said the woman later signed a waiver of prosecution.The Broward State Attorney's office continues to investigate the claims.

    The woman's civil lawsuit was filed Thursday in Broward County Circuit Court.

    Irvin's lawsuit said the allegations were "absolutely false."

    His court filing says the woman threatened to sue Irvin "during the Super Bowl" if he did not pay her $1 million.

    Her lawyers circulated a "salacious harassment" lawsuit among people Irvin knows during fall 2009, according to Irvin's court filing. That suit was "very different" from the one that was actually filed, Irvin's lawsuit said.

    "The more popular sport is not football; it's extorting money from sports figures," Irvin's lawyer, Larry Friedman, told DallasNews.com. "It's the price you pay for fame today."

    No criminal charges have been filed against Irvin.

    Irvin, who had been hosting a radio show on the local ESPN radio affiliate, was not on the air Friday at 11 a.m.  ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz told Unfair Park that Irvin's contract was up and his ratings were down -- so he was out.  Krulewitz said the decision to cancel the show was made prior to the assault allegation out of Florida, but did acknowledge that the allegation expedited his removal from the airwaves.

    Since retiring from the NFL in 1999, the always-outspoken Irvin has regularly found himself in the headlines. In 2009 alone, he made headlines for being on Dancing with the Stars, defending a lawsuit alleging he stole the idea for his "4th and Long" TV show and for claiming would-be carjackers recognized him as "The Playmaker."

    Irvin, accumulated nearly 12,000 yards receiving and scored 65 touchdowns while playing for Dallas. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007.

    Lita Beck contributed to this report.