NEW YORK (AP) — A California woman sobbed Tuesday as she told a jury that she still suffers from injuries incurred when she was punched in the face outside a Manhattan nightclub four years ago by NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
Christin Myles said Marshall left her with still unhealed eye injuries, along with neck and back pain that still torment.
Attorney Harvey Steinberg, representing Marshall, a six-time Pro Bowler who now plays for the New York Jets, told jurors in an opening statement that his client never punched Myles. He suggested the Manhattan federal court trial was a money grab.
"I have a feeling if he wasn't a professional athlete we wouldn't be in this courtroom," Steinberg said.
Myles is seeking unspecified damages in the lawsuit she filed after the March 11, 2012, encounter outside Marquee nightclub, where she was celebrating her 24th birthday.
Joshua Moskovitz, an attorney for Myles, said Marshall mistook Myles for another woman who tossed a bottle outside the nightclub.
Marshall, in a blue striped suit, showed no emotion as Myles testified after lawyers made introductory remarks. He was expected to eventually testify.
Jurors viewed several grainy security videos that showed a disturbance inside the club. The disturbance occurred in the area where Marshall, his wife and his close friend Michael Anthony Sims-Walker were gathered near where Myles and three others including her boyfriend and her brother were sharing champagne.
Steinberg showed jurors on one video that two bottles and two buckets were tossed toward Marshall's group, with one bottle cutting his wife's lip.
The lawyer said his client then left the club to wait for an ambulance with his arms wrapped around his wife.
Myles testified she was in the restroom when the ruckus occurred and was angry when she returned to discover her birthday party had been wrecked. She said she spotted Marshall and Sims-Walker leaving the club, though she didn't know who they were.
When she left shortly afterward, she said, she concluded Marshall and Sims-Walker were to blame.
"I was very angry. I was very upset," she said.
Myles said she took a swing at Sims-Walker, a former NFL player who played college ball with Marshall at Central Florida.
"The next moment, I remember I just saw an arm with tattoos and a blue sleeve rolled up," she said, describing the punch.
"I remember falling to the floor," she said as she began crying so hard that Judge George B. Daniels directed jurors to take their afternoon break.
Myles, who once played basketball for San Diego State University, later testified she saw Marshall's tattooed forearm in her photographs and knew he was to blame. She said that after she was told he was a professional football player, she looked him up on the Internet and learned it was true.
Marshall was a member of the Miami Dolphins at the time but was traded to the Chicago Bears two days later. He played for the Denver Broncos earlier in his career.
When Myles discovered Marshall was not criminally charged, she said, she was disappointed.
"I wanted justice," she said.
Marshall, a few hours after appearing in court Tuesday, was honored at the New York Athletic Club, where he received the Ernie Accorsi Humanitarian Award for his work with his foundation. Marshall's Project 375 raises awareness about mental health issues.
Marshall declined to comment about the trial to reporters at the event.