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Witnesses claim former Cowboys star Michael Irvin did not harass a hotel employee

Michael Irvin
Doug Murray
Two men who say they were in a Phoenix hotel lobby the night Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin was accused of misconduct with an employee said Wednesday, March 8, 2023, they didn't see him do anything wrong and that his brief interaction with the woman appeared friendly.

NFL commentator Michael Irvin met with reporters Wednesday in Dallas in response to harassment allegations by a hotel staffer.

Two men who say they were at a Marriott hotel the night Michael Irvin was accused of sexual misconduct said Wednesday they did not see the former Cowboys wide receiver do anything inappropriate.

The two men — Bryn Davis of Philadelphia and Phil Watkins of Australia — spoke on a video call during a press conference Wednesday morning. Both said they saw Irvin talk to the unidentified woman but that the conversation seemed amiable.

The allegations came to light three days after the interaction occurred, when Irvin told Dallas media the NFL canceled his Super Bowl appearances. He's since filed a $100 million defamation suit against Marriott and the woman, referred to in court documents as Jane Doe. In a court filing last week, Marriott asked a judge to dismiss the case or have it moved to a federal court in Arizona.

Marriott did not immediately respond to KERA's request for comment Wednesday.

Wednesday's press conference came a day after a court deadline for Marriott to produce video of the Feb. 5 interaction.

Irvin's lawyer, Levi McCathern, told reporters he saw the video and that it clears his client, though he claimed Marriott's legal team did not let him record or keep a copy.

McCathern described what he saw in the video as a brief but normal interaction: he said the two shook hands and Irvin touched the woman's elbow twice, then left.

"The allegations are nonsense," McCathern said. "We need to immediately get Michael back to work."

Irvin said he's "sickened" by the allegations, likening the situation to racist violence.

"This just blows my mind that in 2023 we're still dragging and hanging brothers by a tree," Irvin said. "I have no opportunity to defend — I don't even know what I'm defending."

Irvin ended the press conference by saying the witness statements made him emotional, and said he's unsure of his future as an ambassador to the NFL.

"I'm struggling with that — on what to do moving forward after I deal with all of this, that's all I want to say," Irvin said.

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Pablo Arauz Peña is the breaking news reporter for KERA News.