New York Times — 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.
This is an ultra-serious subject so I’m going to treat it as such. I’ll lay out all that has been reported/rumored in relation to this case, and leave it at that, because truthfully, I don’t have any real right or place to speak on any of this at this point.
As of right now, everything remains strictly allegations and rumors.
In early-December, it was reported by multiple media outlets and tabloids across the pond that a major Irish sports star was being investigated for the rape and assault of a woman in her mid-20s after a drug-induced night of partying. Because of certain confidentiality laws in Ireland, no names were released, but each and every outlet that ran with the story heavily implied that Conor McGregor was the major sports star in question, and the now infamous “Dublin WhatsApp” group-chats suggested the same.
Days later, some more details on the attack were rumored through these same Irish tabloids. Details like the alleged victim being too terrified to make an official statement to the Gardai, the rumored sporting star being well-aware of the accusations being made and cooperating fully in the investigation, offering himself for an interview immediately, and a probe being sent out to the hotel where this allegedly took place.
Word on the attack went silent for about a month, but on Friday, January 18th, a leaked photo from the RTE suggested that Conor McGregor presented himself to the Gardai at 5pm the day prior in connection with a recent assault allegation. This is presumably the allegation of assault rumored to have been made in early-December.
Tabloids then stated that the sports-star involved in the case was arrested or turned himself in on January 17th but released by the Dundrum Garda Station overnight without charge, and that the Director of Public Prosecutions would decide whether or not to bring charges to the alleged attacker.
You’d have to imagine now, with the timing of his “retirement”, McGregor had a sense that this was incoming.
While I was certainly ultra-aware of the rumors surrounding this case/investigation for the past few months, I couldn’t comment on them for pretty obvious legal reasons. This was the same case for just about every writer/journalist on the planet, as well. I didn’t (and still don’t) have any more info than what these tabloids and rumors are saying, and I certainly wasn’t trying to hide any of this to make McGregor look better or anything like that.
For the time being, I’m going to be putting a halt the super pro-Conor thing I’ve got going here and just cover him in an objective sport-related capacity when necessary, at least until more details about this case come out and we figure out the truth, as to not disrespect the victim nor seriousness of the allegations.
This should go without saying, but because people will ask, I’ll answer: in the horrific scenario in which these rumors are true, and McGregor was involved in this assault, he will absolutely not have my support going forward. I do still have some faith and trust in the person I’ve grown to admire over the past few years, though, and am extremely grateful for everything he and his team have done for me both professionally and personally. I’ll wait to cast total judgement until all facts and evidence are revealed.
I really hope this isn’t true.