Recently retired UFC mixed martial artist and boxer Conor McGregor is under investigation for sexual assault in his native Ireland, according to a bombshell report from The New York Times.
The investigation stems from a report by a woman in Dublin that McGregor assaulted her in December of last year. The star athlete was taken into police custody and questioned in January and was subsequently released pending further investigation. He has not yet been charged with any crime — the standard procedure throughout much of Europe is to not issue a formal charge immediately after an arrest and to wait instead until further investigation has been conducted.
McGregor’s accuser alleged the assault occurred at The Beacon Hotel in Dublin. The incident was reported on in January by the Irish press, but the country’s privacy laws regarding individuals accused of rape prevented the media from attaching McGregor’s name to the story, under penalty of potential libel or breach of privacy lawsuits.
In keeping with that policy, a representative for the Gardai (Ireland’s police force) refused to confirm whether or not McGregor was under investigation when asked by the Times. Responding to a request for comment about “an unnamed sportsman,” the spokesperson responded that a man was arrested and released on January 17 while investigations continued. A police statement read that “investigations are ongoing in this case, and at this time a file continues to be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.”
This is far from the first time the Irish superstar has courted controversy over his career. He pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge last July after throwing a metal barricade through a bus window and injured two fighters at a media event for UFC 223 in Brooklyn, New York. He was just arrested on charges of robbery and disorderly conduct in Miami on March 11 after reportedly stealing and smashing a woman’s cell phone.
McGregor, a former featherweight and lightweight champion in the UFC, racked up an impressive 21-4 record in MMA (18 KO) while becoming the biggest star in the history of the sport. His 2017 boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr. drew 4.3 million pay-per-view buys, the second-largest number of all time.
McGregor’s last fight, in October 2018 (his first MMA bout since 2016), ended in a submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov. He announced his retirement from mixed martial arts over Twitter on Monday night.
“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!”
There’s no word so far on whether or not McGregor may return in the future (he retired once before over Twitter, back in 2016), or when the investigation might conclude.