"I didn't do anything wrong. I know I didn't do anything wrong, and I was trying to do everything right," said Irvin to reporters in Dallas.
Levi McCathern, Irvin's attorney, also defended Irvin and had witnesses via video conference who said they saw what happened the night of Feb. 5.
"The allegations are nonsense and we need to immediately get Michael back to work and I believe that Renaissance needs to apologize to him," said McCathern.
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Last month during the week of the Super Bowl, Irvin was sent home and sidelined from his duties with NFL Network and ESPN after a female employee at Renaissance Phoenix Hotel & Spa accused Irvin of misconduct. As to the specifics of the complaint and what Irvin is being accused of, it's unknown at this point.
"It sickens me. It sickens me," said Irvin on how he's being treated, comparing it to the Jim Crow era. "This takes me back to a time when a white man, woman, would accuse a Black man of something, and they would take a bunch of guys that were above the law, run in the barn, put a rope around his foot and drag him through the mud and hang him by the tree."
He said he's struggling with what to do because he doesn't know if he should even talk to people anymore.
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“I meet people every day walking in and out of a lobby. I couldn't even tell you what she looked like. I don't know. I don't even know who I'm talking about when I'm talking about it. This just blows my mind that in 2023 we're still dragging and hanging brothers by a tree, that blows my mind," said Irvin who went on to say he doesn't even know what he's defending.
Last month Irvin filed a $100 million defamation lawsuit against Marriott International Inc., which manages the hotel, saying that he was falsely accused of misconduct. It was filed in Collin County where Irvin lives, according to his attorney.
McCathern said he was able to view the surveillance video for the first time on Tuesday with lawyers from Marriott, but did not get a copy and was not allowed to record it.
He claimed Marriott violated a court order because they did not turn over the video by 5 p.m. on Tuesday. McCathern's team filed an emergency motion to get a copy of the surveillance video from inside the lobby.
"Now what is so damning about a video that was taken in a public lobby that they're now using to destroy this man's livelihood and reputation that they won't just release it," said McCathern.
He described what he saw in the video, saying Irvin had walked back inside the hotel lobby after taking pictures with fans on Feb. 5.
“The accuser then, as she sees Michael coming back, walks out from behind the front desk and it appears to me to be approaching Michael and his group," said the lawyer who also said it was hard to tell who started the conversation first because of a pole in the way, but that witnesses would help clear it up.
He said they walked toward the middle of the lobby and shake hands.
"He shakes her hand at the beginning, he shakes her hand at the end. He one time touches her on the elbow, as many of you who have interviewed him knows he does when he talks, for a brief moment. And at one time he buckles over laughing and he kind of brushes her other elbow with his hand. That is it," said McCathern.
“She clearly never acts upset, she doesn’t back away from Michael,” described McCathern who said the conversation lasted about a minute and a half, from what he saw on the video.
Irvin said he hasn't seen the video.
"I haven't seen this tape. I want to see what I'm being accused of, why they put my whole life on hold, why my family had to endure it. If I did something wrong, hey I'll suffer the consequences of me doing something wrong. But if you did something wrong, you meaning them, then they should suffer the consequences of what they did wrong," said Irvin.
On a monitor behind Irvin were two men, Phil Watkins, of Australia, and Bryn Davis, of Philadelphia, who said they were in the lobby when the alleged misconduct took place. Irvin's attorney said they found out about the men after they spoke on a radio show about what they saw.
The two men who were there for a business trip said they took pictures with Irvin. His attorney said they could be seen on the surveillance video.
Davis said they offered to buy the Hall of Famer a drink because they thought, 'it would be cool to buy Michael Irvin a drink.' Davis said Irvin declined due to having work the next morning, but he spoke with them for a bit and took pictures.
"We stepped outside, took a few pictures and came back in and when we entered back in the woman came around the come around the corner, kind of met Michael at the corner, there had been a very brief interaction that was super friendly, lots of laughter, and Michael went back to his room. I went back to my seat and two days later I read about the story that we're talking about now," said Davis.
"I was checking my phone when a young lady approached Michael and there was nothing really untoward out of the interaction," explained Watkins who said he was checking his phone to look at the pictures they just took. "Basically I heard some laughter. I looked up. There's a few handshakes, some more laughter and they went their separate ways
While sitting next to his attorney and agent, Irvin became emotional listening to the witnesses.
"Had I not said to these guys, 'Hey, you know what? You were cool guys, let's go outside and take that picture,' then they wouldn't have been right there with me, and that would have been a moment that I've had alone and I know nobody wants to listen to what I've had to say," said Irvin.
THE LEGAL BACK AND FORTH
Marriott International Inc. hasn't made a statement regarding the allegations, but their attorneys have filed different motions in court.
On Wednesday after the press conference, attorneys for Marriott opposed Irvin's motion to 'enforce court order' in regards to providing a copy of the video, according to court documents NBC 5 obtained.
They called the emergency motion "legally flawed and premature."
"He ignores that Marriott not only complied with the court's order but also produced documents in advance of the deadline and specifically invited Mr. Irvin to view the video footage himself, which he chose not to do," said the court document.
It goes on to state that Marriott informed Irvin's legal counsel that on March 6 it would deliver copies of "any non-privileged reports and witness statements pertaining to plaintiff's [Irvin] stay at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel" and that it would make "the pertinent video recordings 'available for plaintiff's and his counsel's inspection'
Marriott International stood by its decision to not give a copy saying it was 'reasonable and necessary' to only show the video for viewing because after hearing the "plaintiff's repeatedly stated intent (including in a press conference this morning) to disclose the video publicly.
The attorneys said in the court document that if a copy is given they feel it would "risk compromising the identity and privacy of the employees and the hotel guests visible on the video."
As of Wednesday, they've asked District Judge Amos Mazzant III to deny Irvin's lawyer's motion, to get a copy of the video. But, if that doesn't happen, they request the court to issue a protective order which would prevent Irvin's team from publicly disclosing any information.