Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown was accused of rape and sexual battery on Tuesday in a lawsuit filed in Florida’s Southern district.
As first reported by The New York Times, Brown’s former trainer, Britney Taylor, claimed that over several different instances in 2017 and ’18, the star wide receiver committed “heinous acts” that “have inflicted severe and dramatic damage on Ms.Taylor.”
From the lawsuit:
• In June 2017, Brown sexually assaulted Ms. Taylor twice while they were together for training sessions. First, Brown exposed himself and kissed Ms. Taylor without her consent. Later that month, Brown, while positioned behind Ms. Taylor, began masturbating near her without her knowledge and ejaculated on her back. Ms. Taylor realized what occurred when she felt a wet spot soak through her clothing. Later, in astonishingly profane and angry text messages, Brown bragged about the incident to her.
• Shocked and deeply embarrassed by this assault and his degrading messages, Ms. Taylor cut off her working relationship with Brown. However, several months later, Brown reached out to Ms. Taylor, expressing contrition, begging forgiveness and pleading with her to train him again. Ms. Taylor was hesitant but eventually agreed, swayed by his assurance that he would cease any sexual advances. Brown’s assurances proved false.
• On May 20, 2018, Brown cornered Ms. Taylor, forced her down onto a bed, pushed her face into the mattress, and forcibly raped her. Ms. Taylor tried to resist him, but Brown was too strong and physically overpowered her. She screamed and cried throughout the entire rape, repeatedly shouting “no” and “stop.” Brown refused and penetrated her.
Taylor released a statement via her attorney, David Haas:
“As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision. I have found strength in my faith, my family, and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault. Speaking out removes the shame that I have felt for the past year and places it on the person responsible for my rape. I will cooperate with the NFL and any other agencies; however, at this time, I respectfully request that the media please respect my privacy.”
Brown’s attorney, Darren Heitner, released a page-long denial Tuesday night, saying that Brown “denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit,” and that Brown “will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name but to protect other professional athletes against false accusations.” ESPN’s Josina Anderson reports that Brown will “countersue his accusor for civil extortion.”
Heitner’s statement says “any sexual interaction with Mr. Brown was entirely consensual.”
New England released a statement on Tuesday: “We are aware of the civil lawsuit that was filed earlier today against Antonio Brown, as well as the response by Antonio’s representatives,” the Patriots said in a statement on Tuesday. “We take these allegations very seriously. Under no circumstance does this organization condone sexual violence or assault. The league has informed us that they will be investigating.”
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