Michael Irvin denies raping woman at Fort Lauderdale Beach hotel

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Former University of Miami and NFL star Michael Irvin has denied sexually assaulting a woman at the W Hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach last month, saying surveillance video will prove his innocence.

The 51-year-old Fort Lauderdale native claimed in an interview that the hotel’s security video will exonerate him of the allegations made by a 27-year-old woman.

“We’ve never had any kind of dating relationship, and we’ve never had a sexual relationship or sexual relations in any way,” he said. “I considered her a friend.”

Irvin said he was in town for a family member’s birthday and had invited family and friends back to his room because they had been drinking. He said he remained in the hotel on the morning of March 22, then left early in the morning because he had a flight to catch.

The accuser said she and Irvin sat at the bar before heading to his hotel room. She said her memory was fuzzy but that she remembered having to fight Irvin off.

Irvin said he remembers everything that happened.

“A lot of people think, ‘Michael, were you being careless?'” Irvin said. “I thought I was being caring, making sure all of my friends and family members got home safely and just slept it off and not get out in the streets driving after we had been hanging out drinking.”

Fort Lauderdale Police said they are investigating.

In 2007, Irvin was accused of sexual battery. He reached a settlement in a civil lawsuit regarding that case in 2011.

He also faced drug charges in 1996.

“I have worked very hard to overcome some mistakes of my youth, to regain the trust of my family and friends, my community, Cowboys nation, NFL fan base, my employers, my NFL Hall of Fame teammates,” he said. “I can tell you I’ve done nothing to violate that trust, nothing to violate that trust.”

Irvin said surveillance video from the hotel will help bolster his claims of innocence. He said he and the victim were alone for a short time.

“I can tell you this: Nothing happened, nothing happened,” he said.

Irvin said he and the woman left his room together, entered the elevator together and left the hotel together.

He also said that the woman has hired Gloria Allred as a civil attorney in the case.

Irvin said he has already lost a speaking engagement for a high school athletic competition in June and fears he could lose his job.

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