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While investigating a story about Drake and Los Angeles celebrity hotspot Delilah, former employees told us a disturbing story they said took place at the club-slash-restaurant involving MMA fighter Conor McGregor and his entourage.
Two witnesses said a bottle service girl was forced out of the restaurant and into a car one night in December 2016.
McGregor's representatives referred us to a friend of the fighter, Charlie Ward, who said that he made out in a car with the girl in question, but that it was consensual.
On Sunday, Insider published a story centering on the brutal beating of a server at LA celebrity hotspot Delilah, and the ensuing lawsuit.
While interviewing former Delilah employees for the story, we were told about an incident involving MMA fighter Conor McGregor and his entourage in which a bottle service girl ended up in a car outside the restaurant/club.
The details of the night are hazy, but two eyewitnesses who were working that night told us that McGregor came in with a group of friends and got rowdy. One of the eyewitnesses told us that at one point, the woman ended up over McGregor's shoulder, and she witnessed the woman being carried toward the door. The witness said she was then passed to another member of McGregor's entourage and carried to an SUV outside.
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"I saw fear in her eyes like, 'What the f--- is happening?'" the witness said.
A second witness said he noticed the group move outside, and decided to follow, thinking something might be wrong. When he got outside, he said he saw the woman in the back of the SUV, trying to roll down the window and "freaking out."
That witness said that a manager then came out and threatened to call the police. It's unclear whether any call was made, however.
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The woman did eventually exit the car and return to the restaurant. The first witness said she looked "rattled."
When we reached out to McGregor's representatives for comment, they put us in touch with fellow MMA fighter Charlie Ward, who is a friend of McGregor's and was there that night. He told us it was he — and not McGregor — who went out to the SUV with the staffer.
He said they were making out in the back when a male manager peeked his head into the car and asked if the woman was being held against her will. Ward said he thought the manager was making a joke. But then, he said, the manager started yelling and threatening to call the police. Ward said that the waitress indicated that she was there on her own accord, but got out of the vehicle and he didn't see her for the rest of the night.
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There is one key aspect of Ward's story that differs from what sources close to McGregor initially told us about the incident, but they refused to put this account on the record.
Both sources at Delilah who witnessed the incident said McGregor was banned from the restaurant afterward, but it seems like the banning wasn't taken too seriously. One of the witnesses said McGregor returned to the restaurant about a month and a half later, and left without paying his bill.
The H.wood Group — the company that owns Delilah — refused to comment on the matter.
We also reached out to the woman at the center of this story back in March, and asked her about the alleged incident. She declined to comment. At the time, she was still employed by the company.
McGregor, arguably the most famous UFC fighter in the world, has been connected to a series of troubling incidents.
In March, The New York Times reported that McGregor had been arrested in January after a woman accused him of a sexual assault. He was released without being charged, but Irish police in March said they were still investigating.
UFC President Dana White told reporters in August that McGregor had denied the allegations to him and said that it was "somebody else."
McGregor was also suspended for six months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission earlier this year in connection with a brawl that broke out after his defeat of Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229.
Just this past August, McGregor found himself in the news again when TMZ Sports published video showing him punching an elderly man in the face at a Dublin pub, after the older gentleman refused a free shot of his brand of whiskey.
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