Former Buccaneers WR Files Lawsuit Against Estranged Wife Over Abuse Allegations

The former Bucs kick returner is claiming that he is the victim of blackmail.
Oct 22, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Deven Thompkins (83) and wide receiver Trey Palmer (10) sit during warm ups before the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 22, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Deven Thompkins (83) and wide receiver Trey Palmer (10) sit during warm ups before the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports / Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
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Deven Thompkins being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was an abrupt and unexpected move, at least from the outside looking in. The third-year pro out of Utah State was a productive kick returner and reserve wide receiver for the Bucs. He signed with the team as a UDFA in 2022. 

The team released Thompkins with an injury designation during OTAs, which was later revealed to be due to a hamstring injury — the injury was minor, however, and Thompkins likely would have recovered in just a few weeks. However, it later came out that Thompkins was accused of domestic violence by his estranged wife, Maria Castilhos, through a series of images and videos on her TikTok page that appeared to show bruises and marks on her body that she claimed were caused by Thompkins.

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Now, Thompkins is suing Castilhos, claiming that her allegations of domestic abuse are false. The former Buccaneer is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, alleging defamation and tortious interference with his NFL contract. 

The 14-page civil complaint contains a number of claims, including evidence that suggests Castilhos viciously attacked his current girlfriend at a party and that she threatened to release photos of injuries to her face and arms, insinuating those injuries were not from him. The complaint alleges that Castilhos directly referenced her intentions to blackmail Thompkins, stating in a text message, “I’m done blackmailing you.”

It is unlikely that Thompkins will return to the Buccaneers regardless of whether he wins the lawsuit or not. Thompkins served as Tampa Bay's kick returner for the past two years and has played some additional snaps at wide receiver, netting 22 catches for 115 yards and one touchdown in his career with the Buccaneers.

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Collin Haalboom

COLLIN HAALBOOM

Prior to joining BucsGameday and Sports Illustrated, Collin's written content was provided through Bucs Banter, and NFL Draft Lounge. He is also the creator and host of the Bucs Banter Podcast. He is a graduate of the Communication Studies program at McMaster University, where he was also a varsity basketball player, and later an advanced scout. He lives with his wife and two children in Hamilton, ON. You can follow Collin on YouTube and Twitter.