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Report: Yasiel Puig Secretly Settled With Two Sexual Assault Accusers in 2017

Editor’s note: This story contains alleged accounts of sexual assault. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or at

Two women said that former MLB star Yasiel Puig sexually assaulted them in January 2017, and he privately settled with both of them that same year, according to an investigation published Monday by The Washington Post. Despite the accusations, Puig was allowed to continue to play baseball without being put on paid leave or the public being notified. 

The first survivor, who lived in Los Angeles, said she connected with Puig via Instagram and met him at a nightclub, according to a letter to Puig sent by her attorney, Gloria Allred, who is representing the second woman as well. The former Dodgers star took her home at 2:30 a.m., and she soon discovered he was intoxicated.

“You drove at dangerously fast speeds and cut across traffic like a maniac,” the letter read, per the Post

Puig insisted on walking her to her door, but she protested. The woman said he pushed his way into her apartment and started kissing her and removing her underwear, even though she repeatedly told him to leave and that she did not want to have sex with him. She said he attempted to rape her but she “squeezed her inner thighs tightly to keep her legs glued together” while begging for him to stop. 

Her screams got him to stop, she said, but then he tried to force her to give him oral sex, which she also resisted. After again resisting, she said Puig ejaculated and left. There is no indication the first woman went to the police.

Yasiel Puig while playing for the Cincinnati Reds in 2019. He did not play for any MLB team in 2020 or 2021.

Yasiel Puig while playing for the Cincinnati Reds in 2019. He did not play for any MLB team in 2020 or 2021.

Within days of the first incident, a second woman went to a police station in Southern California to report another incident she described as sexual assault. After she met with Puig two days earlier after the Los Angeles Dodgers’s FanFest, she said that during consensual sex he became enraged and hit, choked and bit her until she nearly passed out, according to a police report obtained by the Post

During intercourse, the second woman said Puig saw a bruise on her leg and accused her of having sex with another person, according to Allred's letter. She said that Puig "violently and repeatedly slapped her across the face.” She also added that he used his left hand to choke her. 

Puig denied both allegations and settled with both women for a total of $325,000, according to his attorney, Scott Lesowitz. MLB discovered the allegations in 2017, but it's unclear how they were made aware of the situation. An MLB spokesperson denied to disclose details of the investigation to the Post

Unlike other MLB personnel, players are under no obligation to inform the league of any such allegations, an MLB official told the Post. MLB's then collective bargaining agreement, which expired this month, also had confidentiality provisions. 

When allegations are made public, the commissioner will swiftly put the player on administrative leave as an investigation takes place. But if an allegation is made privately, MLB will not immediately put the player on leave, because that would make the allegations public. The confidentiality provisions are in place specifically for sensitive and potentially damaging allegations. To some extent, this also prohibits MLB from even telling a player's team of any allegations they are facing unless it requires disciplinary action, per the Post

During the first half of the 2017 season, MLB used its then-new policy on addressing nondisclosure agreements during an investigation. MLB was able to get Puig's attorney to stipulate in writing that the two women could speak with the league during its investigation, per the Post. The policy deemed it a “failure to cooperate” if a player entered into an agreement that prevented him or a survivor from “cooperating with an investigation.”

It's unclear whether either woman wanted to speak with MLB, but the league took no action against Puig as a result of the investigation. These two incidents were previously unknown, but in 2018, another woman went public with a description of sexual assault by Puig. 

The third woman said that at a Lakers Halloween game, Puig pushed his way into the bathroom she was in. He barred the door, groped and kissed her while she resisted until he ejaculated and escaped, she said in a letter her lawyer, Taylor Rayfield, sent in September 2019 to a mediator assigned to help broker a settlement that was obtained by the Post. The details became public only when discussions over a settlement fell apart. 

According to the letter, she made an opening ask of $12 million, but Puig refused because he said the encounter was consensual. She sued him on Oct. 29, 2020. That same day the allegations became public. He eventually settled for $250,000, and the woman paid her own lawyer fees. 

Although Puig believed the relatively small settlement was a result of his innocence, it could be an outcome of his financial status. His lawyers disclosed to the woman's lawyers that his finances had taken a major hit and would hinder his ability to pay. In documents obtained by the Post, his finances were virtually devastated. 

“I hardly have any [money],” Puig acknowledged, blaming attorney costs.

Due to several on- and off-the-field incidents, his career has been derailed. Now 31, he recently signed to play for the Kiwoom Heroes in Korean Baseball Organization after not playing for any MLB team over the last two seasons.