A former NFL Network makeup artist has filed a new sexual-misconduct lawsuit, claiming she was “subjected to ongoing and continuing sexual harassment by current and former on-air talent and other employees of NFL” during the two years she was employed at the company.
Erin McParland, who initially told her story to Sports Illustrated in December, names Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin and All-Pro defensive back Eric Davis as her primary tormentors in the complaint filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. She has asked for a jury trial to determine damages on her claims of negligence, assault, battery, false imprisonment, harassment, against defendants Eric Davis and NFL Enterprises.
McParland claims that Davis frequently came into the makeup room and commented on how flexible she was when she bent down to pick up makeup products. Eventually, he contacted her via Instagram Messaging, “remarking on [her] flexibility and suggesting how good things could be between [them],” the lawsuit claims.
All of these communications were allegedly “laced with sexual innuendo and suggestions which were both inappropriate and offensive.”
During the next football season, Davis physically assaulted McParland, according to the lawsuit. “During these encounters, [he] would also force his genitals against [McParland] and he would also run his genitals on [her] leg,” the complaint claims. “Davis also groped [McParland’s] rear extremities with both hands, including a specific instance where Davis grabbed [her] buttocks and inserted his fingers into the area between [her] buttocks on either side.”
These incidents allegedly continued despite McParland repeatedly telling Davis to keep his “hands off.”
Separately, Irvin made his own inappropriate gestures and comments to McParland, according to the lawsuit, including an instance when allegedly he grabbed her waist while she was working. She told him to “not touch” her, according to the lawsuit.
McParland eventually went to the NFL’s human-resources department about both Davis and Irvin, but the lawsuit claims the company didn’t move forward with her complaints about Davis until another woman made a similar report about him. McParland claims that HR never followed up with her about Irvin.
The company allegedly approached Davis about the report and urged him to “leave quietly.”
McParland, according to the lawsuit, “has sustained and will continue to sustain severe physical, mental, and emotional injuries, pain, distress, suffering, anguish, fright, nervousness, grief, anxiety, worry, shame, mortification, injured feelings, mental suffering, shock, humiliation and indignity, as well as other unpleasant physical, mental, and emotional reactions, damages to good name, reputation, standing in the community, and other non-economic damages.” According to the lawsuit, she now seeks “an amount sufficient to punish and make an example of [NFL Network].”
McParland’s lawyer, Matt McNicholas, told USA Today Sports that his client suffered months of harassment and assault before she reported the alleged crimes because she didn’t want to “rock the boat.”
Former makeup artist Jami Canto also filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against NFL Enterprises, which led to the suspension of other ex-players-turned-analysts Marshall Faulk, Ike Taylor, and Heath Evans in December. Davis was also named in that lawsuit. He and Donovan McNabb were fired by ESPN after the allegations surfaced, according to USA Today.