New York Jets star Brandon Marshall testified Thursday in a suit by a California woman who claims he punched her at a nightclub that security video of his right arm thrusting in her direction actually showed him trying to keep his balance as he ran from her friends.
“I ran pushing over that scrum, and tripped over that scrum,” said Marshall, who dabbed his eyes and sniffled describing his own fear and his wife’s injuries in the melee at Manhattan’s Marquee nightclub. “ ... You have to use your hands to stay up. You have to put your arms out.”
The testimony came in Manhattan federal court in a civil suit brought by Christen Myles, 28, who says she was punched in the eye by Marshall in the March 2012 incident. She is seeking money for pain and suffering and punitive damages from the all-pro receiver.
According to testimony, Marshall’s group — including former NFL receiver Michael Sims-Walker, his girlfriend and Marshall’s wife, Michi — got into a fracas in the club’s VIP Lounge with a group including Myles’ boyfriend.
Michi Marshall was hit with a bottle, lost three teeth and was bleeding, but Myles did not participate.
Outside the club, Myles approached Sims-Walker and took a wild swing at him. She then says the 6-foot-4, 230 pound Marshall slugged her in the left eye and ran off into the night. A grainy security video that shows Marshall’s arm shooting out and is then obscured is the key evidence.
Marshall — who was haunted by behavior issues during his NFL career before coming to the Jets last season — denied throwing a punch, and told jurors that he was “hysterical” outside, begging the bouncers for help because he and Sims-Walker were outnumbered.
“I am thinking if I fall I could potentially be dead,” he said. “ ... I thought there was no way we’ll survive this.”
Under questioning by Myles’ lawyer, Marshall said he recalled believing incorrectly that when Myles approached Sims-Walker, she was the same woman who had thrown a bottle at him a moment earlier.
“I thought that was a very good possibility,” he said, but he insisted he didn’t punch her. He said Sims-Walker later told him that he hit Myles.
Both a bouncer and Marshall’s wife, called as defense witnesses, backed his claim that he may have tripped over Myles and Sims-Walker as he tried to escape, but didn’t hit her.
“I was terrified for his life,” said Michi Marshall. “I didn’t know if they had weapons.”
The case is expected to go to the jury on Friday.