Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin is being investigated for sexual battery in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, according to police.
Irvin’s attorney, Larry Friedman, told the Star-Telegram Wednesday that they “categorically deny” the allegations and intend to meet with Fort Lauderdale police as soon as possible to clear the investigation up. Fort Lauderdale police said it’s an “open investigation.”
“Unfortunately, when you’re in the media, when you’re in the public eye every day … he’s a target for extortion, blackmail and shakedowns,” Friedman said. “While it shouldn’t come as any surprise, it’s still painful for him and his family to go through.
“I’ve got a call in to the Fort Lauderdale police and it’s my intention to make an appointment and go down to Miami with Michael and get to the bottom of it. We’re going to face the allegations and get this investigation immediately dismissed. We’re not running from it. We’re charging to it.”
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Friedman said he and Irvin would fly to the Fort Lauderdale area as early as today, if needed.
According to TMZ, a 27-year-old woman filed a police report saying she and Irvin were out at a bar in the early hours of March 21 and went back to his hotel together.
Once in the room, TMZ reports, the woman says she felt sick and the last thing she remembers is fighting him off. He checked out of the hotel and she took an Uber home before reporting the incident to local police.
The woman told police she feared she was drugged and raped, and she went to a medical lab for a swab and a blood test, according to TMZ.
But Friedman feels a text message exchange between Irvin and the accuser could go a long ways in clearing Irvin’s name. The accuser, a cosmetologist, texted Irvin to “Come for a facial when you get back to Ft. Lauderdale.”
“No sexual assault victim invites the alleged perpetrator back for another visit,” Friedman said. “So it’s ridiculous.”
The NFL Network, the NFL-owned station in which Irvin serves as an analyst, declined comment for the time being.
Friedman doesn’t believe this allegation will affect Irvin’s status with the station.
“Michael is not the first player for this to happen to,” Friedman said. “This is still America where you’re innocent until proven guilty.”
Irvin has been through this sort of situation before, but never criminally charged.
In 2007, he was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a hotel room. Prosecutors didn’t press charges and each side sued another in civil court in a case that resulted in a confidential settlement.
“The last incident turned out the same way,” Friedman said. “Somebody alleged sexual assault, it turned out to be absolutely not true and turned out to be a money play. The person who made the allegations completely withdrew them.
“This is going to turn out the same way.”
Irvin has not commented on the allegations.