Hours after mysteriously announcing his retirement on Twitter we are now learning that Conor McGregor is at the center of an investigation being conducted by police in Ireland after a woman alleges she was sexually assaulted by the MMA star.
Conor McGregor, the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s biggest star and one of the world’s highest-paid athletes, is under investigation in Ireland after a woman accused him of sexual assault in December, according to four people familiar with the investigation.
McGregor has not been charged with a crime. Following the usual protocol in criminal investigations in Ireland and much of Europe, where a formal charge does not necessarily follow an arrest, McGregor was arrested in January, questioned by law enforcement authorities and released pending further investigation, according to the people.
The allegations have not been proven and the fact that an investigation is continuing does not imply that McGregor is guilty of a crime. A lawyer for McGregor in Dublin did not respond to messages seeking comment.
Rumors had been floating around the Internet for months about McGregor’s accusations but scant details were released because Irish law is extremely strict on reporting over sexual assault allegations.
Irish news media have reported on the case since news of the assault first broke late last year, but without naming McGregor. Laws in Ireland restrict the news media from identifying individuals charged with rape unless they are convicted, which has not happened in this case. News outlets reporting the identity of a suspect before a charge is brought often face costly libel and breach of privacy lawsuits in Ireland. Publication after a charge is filed could lead to a more serious contempt of court indictment.
In the McGregor case, some newsrooms in Ireland have barred employees at meetings from even mentioning his name in connection with the case. Managers have asked staff members to refer to him as the “famous sportsman,” according to a journalist at one of Ireland’s national newspapers.
Here are the reports from December of the “unnamed Irish sports” star that the Times is referring to.
Reports circulating in the Irish media which suggest that a well-known sportsperson has been accused of sexual assault say that the star, who has remained unnamed, was on a two-day drinking binge in advance of the attack.
The sportsperson at the center of the allegations was seen partying with a large collection of friends in various venues in Dublin last weekend, sources told the Irish Sun.
The newspaper quotes a source, who says: “A big gang of them arrived and were in good form. Everyone was polite on the way in. When staff went back to check on them later in the night (the star) was wild-eyed and looked wired.”
Irish police have launched an investigation into the allegations after the woman, who is aged in her twenties, stated that she was assaulted both physically and sexually by the sports star. The incident is alleged to have occurred on the early hours of Monday morning, between midnight and 2 am at a hotel on the south side of Ireland’s capital city.
The claim has been determined to be credible by police, who brought the woman to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit at Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital. They have yet to interview the suspect.
The woman in understood to have received physical injuries, including bruising and bleeding, in the attack. No arrests have yet been made.
Update: Conor McGregor’s spokesperson slams the reports of allegations.
Conor McGregor’s spokesperson, Karen Kessler, has issued a statement … referring to The NY Times report about the UFC star’s arrest as a “rumor.”
“This story has been circulating for some time and it is unclear why it is being reported now,” Kessler said in a statement first published by ESPN.
Kessler also addresses people trying to connect Conor’s retirement tweet to the report about his arrest.
“The assumption that the Conor retirement announcement today is related to this rumor is absolutely false.”