The ex-girlfriend of Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook accused him in a lawsuit of physically assaulting her and threatening to kill her during a confrontation at his home.
The woman, Gracelyn Trimble, alleged that the assault happened last year while they were in an on-again, off-again relationship. Trimble detailed the allegations in the suit, which was filed Tuesday.
The suit says Trimble met Cook around 2018 on a beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she had been serving in the Army. The pair began dating and would travel between Florida and Minnesota, where Cook lives, to see each other, it says.
In March 2020, Trimble suffered a miscarriage after she became pregnant with their child, the suit says. Around that time, she learned that Cook was allegedly cheating on her, which “led to a physically violent argument, where Cook pushed Trimble, and the pair broke up,” it claims.
About two months later, Trimble and Cook rekindled the relationship and started living together in Florida, according to the suit.
“During their cohabitation, Trimble became aware of Cook’s aggressive behavior and proclivity towards violence,” the suit says.
The suit alleges other instances of abuse in November 2020, including one when Cook became “physically violent” at his home and another when he “punched Trimble and threw her to the ground” after an altercation at a mall.
Cook is accused of attacking Trimble and threatening to kill her with a gun in another incident the same month, on Nov. 19, after she went to his home in Minnesota to pack her belongings. The lawsuit says Trimble was going to end the relationship because of the infidelity.
When Trimble asked Cook to help pack her things, he “grew angry, grabbed her arm, and slung her whole body over the couch, slamming her face into the coffee table and causing her lower forehead and the bridge of her nose to bust open and start gushing blood,” the lawsuit alleges.
Trimble tried to defend herself with Mace she had hidden in the home, “but the Mace primarily sprayed into Trimble’s eyes,” it says.
The suit says Cook continued to attack Trimble as she went upstairs.
“Cook met Trimble upstairs as she attempted to walk into the bedroom, picked her up, and slammed her on the floor,” it says.
“Cook jumped on top of Trimble, pinned her to the ground, and repeatedly screamed at her and told her she was going to die,” the suit alleges. “Cook punched and choked Trimble and then grabbed the gun he kept in his bedroom and pointed it at Trimble’s head, all while yelling death threats. After this, Cook set down the gun but continued to pin Trimble down.”
The suit further claims that Cook beat Trimble with a broomstick, took away her cellphone and refused to let her leave the house for several hours.
He eventually took her to the airport, where she caught a flight back to Florida, it says.
The lawsuit claims that Trimble had cuts and bruises on her face and an arm. Photos included with the suit show her with a bruised face and a bloodied white shirt.
Before she boarded the flight, Trimble covered up in a hooded sweatshirt, sunglasses and a mask, according to the lawsuit. Once she arrived in Florida, she waited several days before she sought medical attention but falsely told hospital staff members that she had been involved in an ATV accident, the suit says.
Trimble and Cook did not see each other for a period after the assault but got back together, according to the suit. The relationship ended for good in May, it says.
Trimble is seeking damages totaling more than $50,000 for battery, assault and false imprisonment.
An attorney for Cook disputed Trimble’s claim about the Nov. 19 incident. He accused Trimble of gaining access to Cook’s home by using a stolen garage door opener and attacking him and two of his houseguests.
“Upon entry into the residence, Sgt. Trimble immediately, and without provocation, physically assaulted Mr. Cook, punched him repeatedly and maced Mr. Cook directly in the eyes and then Maced his two houseguests,” the lawyer, David Valentini, wrote in a two-page statement provided to NBC News.
“While Mr. Cook was trying to alleviate the burning of his eyes from the Mace, Sgt. Trimble sprayed a second round of Mace in his face and then proceeded to arm herself with a firearm,” Valentini said. “Sgt. Trimble forced Mr. Cook and his guests, at gunpoint, to remain in his residence for the next several hours.”
Valentini described the encounter as a “hostage situation” that Cook tried to stop, saying that in the process “Sgt. Trimble was knocked to the ground and suffered a small cut above her nose.”
Valentini said Cook had the right to defend himself under Minnesota’s “castle doctrine,” which allows homeowners to defend themselves against intruders.
“This right to self-defense includes the use of deadly force based on the nature of the perceived threat,” he wrote.
Valentini accused Trimble of being “emotionally abusive, physically aggressive and confrontational” and said she is trying to extort his client for money.
Valentini did not respond to a request for further comment Wednesday.
In response to an inquiry about Valentini’s claims, attorneys for Trimble sent a statement they issued after ESPN ran a story with what they said were “ludicrous” allegations by Cook’s team that he was the victim.
The Minnesota Vikings said: “We recently received notification from Dalvin Cook’s legal representative regarding a situation that occurred between Dalvin and a female acquaintance in November 2020 and led to an ongoing dispute between the parties. Upon learning of this, we immediately notified the NFL. We are in the process of gathering more information and will withhold further comment at this time.”
Vikings coach Michael Zimmer said at a briefing Wednesday that Cook, who was drafted in 2017, would practice with the team Wednesday.