Conor McGregor, the flamboyant UFC fighter, is under investigation for an alleged sexual assault, according to The New York Times. A woman claims the mixed martial artist sexually assaulted her in December at a hotel on the outskirts of Dublin. Authorities arrested him in January but did not charge him, as they wanted to investigate it further. The paper reported that it had learned of the allegation from four anonymous sources.
The alleged attack took place at the Beacon Hotel, which typically caters to white-collar businessmen and people working in the tech industry, writes the newspaper. One of the Times’ sources claims McGregor stayed in a two-room penthouse the night before police say the incident happened. The athlete is an occasional guest of the hotel. Authorities took evidence from the room and are examining closed-circuit video from around the premises.
McGregor has not been named in Irish media out of fear of the country’s libel laws. When the Times inquired to police about the arrest of an “unnamed sportsman,” authorities said that someone had been arrested on January 17th. Some Irish newspapers have instituted a policy of not mentioning McGregor’s name, instead referring to him as a “famous sportsman.” On January 18th, broadcaster RTE circulated a memo, billed “not for publication/broadcast,” saying that McGregor had turned himself in to police the previous day at 5 p.m. but RTE did not name him in its reports. Gardai, the Irish police, would not confirm McGregor’s identity to the Times.
The fighter rose to fame in recent years and has accumulated a net worth, according to Forbes, of around $99 million. He famously fought boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr., and lost but nevertheless remained an MVP in the MMA world. Earlier today, he announced his retirement from the UFC. “I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition,” he tweeted. “I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement.”
Neither the UFC nor McGregor himself have commented on the allegations. A rep for McGregor, however, said there was no correlation between the investigation and his retirement. “This story has been circulating for some time and it is unclear why it is being reported now,” publicist Karen Kessler wrote in a statement. “The assumption that the Conor retirement announcement today is related to this rumor is absolutely false.”
A lawyer for McGregor did not return the Times’ request for comment. The paper underscored that even though the investigation is ongoing, it does not mean that McGregor is guilty.