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Was Michael Irvin Wrongfully Accused of Rape?

Posted by Debra White | Feb 22, 2010 | 0 Comments

Three days before the Super Bowl, a drama of a different kind was unfolding off the field. Michael Irvin, a former Dallas Cowboys superstar, ESPN personality and  Dancing with the Stars contestant, was slapped with a lawsuit that alleges sexual assault and rape. The lawsuit refers to a series of alleged events that happened over the July 4th holiday in 2007. The woman known in the suit as Jane Doe claims that Irvin and a unnamed male companion lured her into a hotel room and was forced to perform sexual favors against her will.  Doe claims that the Hall of Famer “has a history of attempting to commit similar sexual assaults”.  The accuser is seeking damages for the sexual assault and rape.  Accusations of rape in the world of sports are not a unique occurrence, but what happened next with Michael Irvin is a bombshell.

The twist in this story happened a few days later when Irvin filed a suit against Nicole A. Mustafa alleging “civil extortion, conspiracy, defamation and tortuous interference.”  Irvin not only denied the rape charges but also claims that he was fired from ESPN due to Mustafa's “false allegations”.  Irvin claims that Mustafa has been attempting to extort money from him since his success on Dancing with the Stars.  The complaint states, “It is typical for fame-seekers to attack celebrities of Irvin's stature to try and make a quick buck.”

The $100 million counter-suit speaks volumes about how Irvin and his team are handling the damaging sexual assault allegations. By refusing to settle out of court, Michael Irvin is clearly trying to protect his public image and his career.  It remains to be seen whether or not Irvin's strategy can succeed.  But if it does, it could be a bellwether move signaling a change in how celebrities protect themselves.

About the Author

Debra White

Attorney Debra S. White is an aggressive and talented trial attorney based in Los-Angeles, California who has successfully represented clients accused of sex crimes in both state and federal courts since 1999. Ms. White is a fierce advocate who enjoys the many challenging aspects of sex crimes defense, including defending against false accusations, faulty memories, and prosecutorial misconduct.

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