Vikings’ Dalvin Cook says he’s the victim after ex-girlfriend accuses him of assault

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook raises his arms in celebration after a touchdown by quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook will be allowed to practice and play while the NFL reviews an assault allegation against him.
(Julio Cortez / Associated Press)

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, facing a personal injury lawsuit from a former girlfriend for allegedly assaulting her during an altercation at his home last year, maintained Wednesday that he was the victim in the fight.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the matter will be reviewed under the league’s personal conduct policy, and Cook may continue to practice and play with the team.

“We will continue to monitor developments, but there’s no change to his status as this is a civil complaint,” McCarthy said.


Cook’s attorney, David Valentini, said Tuesday after the lawsuit was first reported by the Star Tribune that his client had the legal right to defend himself because the woman entered Cook’s home with a stolen garage door opener, punched him and sprayed mace in his face without provocation. Valentini said the woman and her attorney were trying to extort Cook for “millions of dollars.”

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Nov. 9, 2021

At his weekly media session Wednesday, Cook declined to provide other details but said again he was the one who was harmed. He didn’t answer when asked if he was considering his own legal action.

“I know that the facts of the situation will come out and clear everything up,” Cook said.

Included as evidence in the lawsuit filed in Dakota County District Court was a message sent from Cook to the woman after the fight apologizing for his actions. She said she suffered a concussion, deep cuts to her face and other bruising. The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $50,000 for claims of assault, battery and false imprisonment.

“I’m a pretty private person. Just seeing my business out on the social web is not ideal for me. I try to walk that straight line, but bumps and bruises come through life and it’s how you handle it,” Cook said. “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 have got my back 1,000%.”