NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall went on trial on Tuesday in a federal lawsuit brought by a California woman who alleged he punched her in the face outside a Manhattan nightclub in 2012.
Marshall “maliciously and without justification” assaulted Christin Myles while she was out celebrating her birthday, her lawyer, Joshua Moskovitz, told a federal jury in Manhattan.
The lawyer said Marshall, 32, slugged Myles, 28, outside the Marquee nightclub in March 2012, leaving her with a black eye and bruised face, out of a mistaken belief she had thrown a bottle at his wife.
“The evidence will show he did this because he doesn’t play by our rules, he took justice into his own hands,” Moskovitz said.
Marshall was playing for the Miami Dolphins at the time of the alleged incident. Myles went to the police, but no charges were brought.
Marshall’s lawyer, Harvey Steinberg, said a security video showed the National Football League star did not hit Myles, who he said had previously taken a swipe at Marshall’s friend, former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker.
Steinberg said Marshall, who has been named to six Pro Bowls and was the Jets’ most valuable player last season, was trying to keep his distance and assist his wife, who had been injured during a brawl inside the club.
Marshall’s wife had been awaiting an ambulance after being struck by a bottle, causing her to lose teeth, Steinberg said.
“He acted not only in a correct and appropriate manner, he acted with admirable restraint given what happened,” Steinberg said.
The lawyer played a clip from the video, which he said showed that another woman struck Myles, who he said blamed Marshall and Sims-Walker for the brawl and ruining her birthday celebration.
Myles is seeking unspecified damages for pain and suffering. The trial could last into next week.
Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Peter Cooney