Flatley Cleared of Charges
By Irish America Staff
December / January 2004
Rape charges against Michael Flatley filed last March by Tanya Marie Robertson have been dropped. A judge in Chicago advised Robertson’s lawyer to drop the case or see it be thrown out of court.
Flatley never denied having sexual relations with Robertson but claimed the act was consensual. The two met at a boxing match in October 2002, and some weeks later spent a day together in Las Vegas sightseeing and shopping, before returning to the Venetian Hotel, where the encounter happened.
“I always maintained my innocence and I’m delighted and relieved that this has been finally and fully vindicated,” Flatley said on learning of the decision.
The dancer, a Chicago native, has made millions from his shows Lord of the Dance and Feet of Flame. A troupe of Lord of the Dance is permanently housed at the Bellagio Hotel and casino in Las Vegas, in a deal that reportedly netted a cool $250 million for Flatley. He also purchased 16 acres of land on the Las Vegas strip last year and plans to build an Irish American-themed casino that will boast 2,200 hotel rooms and 100,000 square feet of gambling space.
Flatley’s legal troubles may not be over. While he is pressing ahead with the $100 million defamation lawsuit he filed against Robertson, Dean Mauro, Robertson’s lawyer, says the Chicago suit was withdrawn only so he can pursue new charges against Flatley in Nevada.
Meanwhile, Flatley’s fiancée, Lisa Murphy from Dublin (pictured right with Flatley), is standing by her man. Last March Flatley told Irish America, who named him Irish American of the Year, that his girlfriend was very understanding. “Lisa puts up with a lot from me. She knows my life is mostly business and I don’t get to see her very often, but that’s just how life is.” ♦