EAGAN, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook maintained his innocence during a five-minute news conference on Wednesday in which he addressed a lawsuit filed against him by an ex-girlfriend alleging that he abused her during an altercation at his home last year.
“I just want everybody to know I’m the victim in this situation and the truth and the details about the situation will come out at a further time,” Cook said.
The 26-year-old running back was accused by 29-year-old former girlfriend Gracelyn Trimble, a sergeant in the U.S. Army, of assault, battery and false imprisonment, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.
Cook’s attorney, David Valentini, said in a statement Tuesday that his client was assaulted by Trimble after she broke into his residence and then later tried to extort millions of dollars from him. Trimble’s lawsuit alleges that she traveled to Minnesota in November 2020 to end her relationship with Cook and take her belongings, having used a garage door opener in her possession to enter the running back’s Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, residence.
Trimble’s lawsuit accused Cook of giving her “a concussion, leaving a scar on my face and taking me through hell.” According to the suit, Trimble said she used Mace on Cook before going into his bedroom, grabbing his gun and calling a friend for help, leading the running back to attack her with a broomstick, she alleged.
No criminal charges were filed, and police were not contacted at the time of the altercation.
Cook deferred all questions about details in the lawsuit to his attorney and his agent, Zac Hiller. Cook said “no” when asked whether he planned to countersue Trimble.
“Like I said, I don’t want to go into further details about it,” Cook said. “I know that the facts of the situation will come out and clear everything up that y’all are trying to get answers to.”
The running back practiced during the team’s walk-through Wednesday and said he expects to play Sunday when the Vikings (3-5) travel to Los Angeles to face the Chargers. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he did not know much about the details surrounding Cook’s lawsuit and said he had not heard anything regarding the running back’s availability for Week 10.
“Honestly, I don’t know that much about the situation,” Zimmer said. “What I was told is the NFL said this is a civil matter and it is what is. So, I don’t know that much about it honestly.”
An NFL spokesperson told ESPN that the league will review Cook’s situation under the personal conduct policy. Because the lawsuit is a civil charge, Cook will not be subjected to being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list.
According to the NFL’s personal conduct policy, a player would go on the commissioner’s exempt list when he is “formally charged with: (1) a felony offense; or (2) a crime of violence, meaning that he is accused of having used physical force or a weapon to injure or threaten a person or animal, of having engaged in a sexual assault by force or against a person who was incapable of giving consent, or having engaged in other conduct that poses a genuine danger to the safety or well-being of another person. The formal charges may be in the form of an indictment by a grand jury, the filing of charges by a prosecutor, or an arraignment in a criminal court.”
Trimble’s lawyer, Daniel Cragg, told ESPN that the complaint was filed Tuesday night, and was accepted for filing by the court administration and is of record.
Cook said Wednesday that he is no longer in contact with the accuser, whom he allegedly saw on and off from January to May 2021, months after the incident in question, according to the lawsuit.
“Just seeing my business out on the social web is not ideal for me,” Cook said. “I try to walk that straight line, but bumps and bruises come through life and it’s how you handle it. I’ve been through a lot of tough things in my life, and I’ve got my head up high knowing that the truth will come out. I hate being a distraction to the team, but I know those guys got my back 1,000%. Just going to take this thing day by day, and I know my team’s here for me and I’m there for them day by day.”