Rory McIlroy apparently goes through a lot of mobile phones. And doesn't like to leave a trace.
The Irish Times reports lawyers for Horizon Sports Management claim McIlroy intentionally wiped eight mobile phones of data and documents relevant to their defense in a suit McIlroy has brought against the Dublin-based agency.
In a filing in Irish Commercial Court, Horizon lawyer Paul Sreenan claimed McIlroy did a "factory reset" on iPhones he had from 2011-2014. In a previous deposition, McIlroy said he was unaware he needed to back up documents on his phone before moving from one model of iPhone to the next, claiming he used Apple's iCloud feature to backup important documents. The world No. 1 also said he wiped the phones to protect his privacy and avoid unsolicited calls from the media. Yikes.
McIlroy filed his lawsuit against Horizon, led by former agent Conor Ridge, in October 2013, alleging the agency misled him into signing a representation agreement in 2011 with unfair terms and outrageous commissions. That lawsuit came on the heels of McIlroy signing a three-year extension with the agency earlier in the year, complete with revised commission terms. Horizon and two other parties have countersued for $9 million in what they call unpaid commissions for deals with Nike and Bose, among others.
The suit has dragged on in Irish Commercial Court, with lawyers dragging in the likes of McIlroy's father Gerry, friend and former Horizon de facto recruiter Graeme McDowell and others as potential witnesses and people of intrigue. In fact, the judge in the case ordered both sides to pursue out-of-court mediation in hope of coming to a settlement. With both sides unable to reach an agreement, the trial is set to unfold next year.