It was revealed in Commercial Court on Tuesday that Rory McIlroy “deliberately ‘wiped clean’ up to eight cell phones, which may have contained significant information relating to his ongoing legal battle with his former management company, Horizon Sports, according to the Irish Times. Apparently, McIlroy completed the “factory resetting” of the phones — which also included those of three other key parties in the case, such as his father, Gerry McIlroy.
Horizon’s attorney Paul Sreenan claimed these actions appeared “incredible for a person in (Rory’s) position.” Thus, they were looking for the court to order “further disclosure of documents and inspection of the phones” of Rory and others prior to the hearing of the golfer’s legal action and his clients’ counter-claim. Sreenan said McIlroy failed to respond to requests for disclosure of material on phones he owned between 2011 and 2014, including upgrades to the latest iPhone model.
In an affidavit sworn in Palm Beach, Florida, Rory said he had already produced “significant amount of detail for the case in compliance with a previous court order.” He added he had not been told it was necessary to back up material before factory resetting his phones, which he changed regularly to have the most up-to-date model. He also used the iCloud storage system to transfer data from one phone to another, but then he factory reset the phones before changing them to protect his privacy and to avoid unsolicited calls from journalists.
(Because it’s so easy for us all to get Rory’s number and once we did trick him into giving it to us, we called him incessantly!)
Sreenan wants to get the phones to have them forensically inspected by their experts.
A review of material on the phones by carried out on Mr McIlroy’s behalf by accountants KPMG was not forensic, he said. The files being sought include ordinary text messages, “What’s App” messages and material on the “cloud”.
I’m sure the key to breaking the case is through Rory’s texts!
I have my own theories on why Rory wouldn’t want material on those phones and his private messages exposed in court, but not because they have anything to do with the case.
Sreenan argued McIlroy hadn’t given a “satisfactory explanation” for the destruction of electronic data on his devices. Apparently, Rory claimed that he had a high turnover of devices due to his “transient lifestyle.” (Turned out it was actually those pesky calls from journos!)
Um, how about some right to privacy for a 25-year-old pro golfer who is ranked no. 1 in the world? Plus, I’m not sure why “factory resetting” of phones is seen as so crazy. I mean, I do that to my phones to maintain my own privacy and I’m a nobody!
It’s unclear from the story whether McIlroy wiped eight phones all at once or whether it was done over the course of three years. Personally, I got the impression that it was the latter. Obviously, if I’m wrong and it was the former, that would be extremely suspicious.