MMA star Conor McGregor is under investigation in connection with alleged sexual assault in Dublin, according to a New York Times report. The news comes hours after he announced his UFC retirement.
UFC star Conor McGregor has been under investigation by Irish authorities since January after a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her at a hotel in Dublin, the New York Times reported on March 26. Irish newspapers have been reporting on the arrest since it happened on Jan. 17, but news media in Ireland are not allowed to publish the names of anyone charged with rape unless they are convicted, which is not the case here. The Times made a request through Ireland’s police service, known as the Gardai, for comment related to an “unnamed sportsman,” but the spokesman only said “a man had been arrested on Jan. 17 and released without charge while investigations continue.”
“Investigations are ongoing in this case and at this time a file continues to be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions,” a police statement to the paper said. The Times stressed that “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.” The publication went with the story after receiving information from four people familiar with the police investigation.
McGregor’s spokesperson, Karen Kessler, issued a statement first published by ESPN that the Times report about the athlete’s arrest is just a “rumor.” “This story has been circulating for some time and it is unclear why it is being reported now,” she said. She also addressed the fighter’s announcement hours earlier that he was retiring from the UFC. “The assumption that the Conor retirement announcement today is related to this rumor is absolutely false.” She then took a subtle dig at the UFC by adding, “Should Conor fight in the future it must be in an environment where fighters are respected for their value, their skill, their hard work and their dedication to the sport.” HollywoodLife.com has also reached out for comment.
A woman alleges that attack occurred at the Beacon Hotel on the outskirts of Dublin in Dec. of 2018. McGregor has been an occasional guests there, booking it’s only penthouse room, a person with knowledge of the situation told the NYT. His last visit took place the night before the alleged assault took place, sources familiar with the hotel operations, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the publication. Investigators retrieved evidence from McGregor’s room and have also secured closed-circuit camera footage, the Times’ sources allege.
News of the arrest comes just hours after McGregor announced via Twitter that he was retiring from the UFC. “Hey guys quick announcement, I’ve decided to retire from the sport formally known as ‘Mixed Martial Art’ today. I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition. I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement. Proper Pina Coladas on me fellas!” he wrote late on March 25.
McGregor has made statements in the past that he’s retiring only to come back to the Octagon. His last fight was an absolute disaster, as arch-enemy Khabib Nurmagomedov, 30, pummeled the Irishman in the lightweight title fight, winning by submission on Oct. 6, 2018.
McGregor is facing legal woes in the U.S. He was arrested in Miami on March 11 and charged with felony strong-armed robbery and misdemeanor criminal mischief for allegedly smashing a tourist’s phone outside the Fontainebleu Hotel after a man tried to take his picture. He’s also wrapping up community service in Brooklyn as part of his disorderly conduct guilty plea in connection with his hurling a metal hand truck at a bus full of fighters leaving UFC 223 media day on April 5, 2018. It left fighters Michael Chiesa and Raymond Borg injured by flying glass and led to the cancellation of their bouts.