New England Patriots player Antonio Brown has been accused of raping a woman who was his trainer in a federal civil lawsuit filed Tuesday.
The lawsuit alleges that Brown sexually assaulted the woman, Britney Taylor, three different times between June 2017 and May 2018. Brown denied the allegation Tuesday, and his lawyer added that Taylor filed the lawsuit as a way to get money out of the football player.
Taylor, a 28-year-old gymnast who met Brown at Central Michigan University and was later hired as his trainer, said the football player exposed his penis to her and then forcibly grabbed and kissed her in the first incident, allegedly at his Pittsburgh home in June 2017.
“Because her professional relationship with Brown was important and because
she took it seriously, Ms. Taylor willed herself to brush off the episode, hoping that Brown would stop pursuing her,” the lawsuit states.
Later that June, while the two were watching a church service on an iPad, Brown allegedly began masturbating behind Taylor and ejaculated on her back.
According to screenshots of text messages revealed in the lawsuit, Brown mocked Taylor afterward in obscene terms, saying he “jack my dick on your back.”
In a text the following March, Brown apologized to Taylor for reasons he did not specify. According to the complaint, Taylor agreed to come back as his trainer on the condition that Brown would not sexually pursue her anymore.
In May 2018, Brown, Taylor, and a few friends went to a club in Miami, according to the lawsuit. Taylor drove Brown and another unnamed football player back to Brown’s home. Before heading back to her hotel, Brown came inside to use the bathroom and get some food, the lawsuit states.
According to the complaint, while she was walking toward the front door, “Brown grabbed her arm, told her he wanted to talk to her, and pulled her into his bedroom.”
The two spoke for a few minutes, and when she got up to leave, Brown allegedly “cornered her and pulled her down on the bed on her stomach, pushing her face down into the mattress.”
Brown allegedly proceeded to rape Taylor, telling her “you know you want this” despite her shouts of “no” and “stop,” according to the complaint.
Taylor left “dazed and emotionally shattered,” according to the lawsuit. She returned to his house the next day to gather her things, and told Brown they “needed to talk about last night.”
“He replied, ‘You made me feel like a real rapist,’” the lawsuit states.
Taylor stopped working with Brown after the alleged rape, and “as is typical with many victims of rape, she made attempts to live her life as if nothing happened.”
Still, she suffered “near-daily panic attacks, frequent suicidal ideations, and insomnia” and lost 30 pounds in a month due to stress.
“It has been extremely difficult for her to process that Brown could betray and violate her so completely,” the lawsuit states. “Brown devastated her sense of self, made her question her worth as a woman and human being, and caused her to question whom she could trust.”
In a statement from his lawyer, Darren Heitner, Brown vehemently denied the allegations.
“He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations,” Heitner said.
Heitner said Brown and Taylor had had “consensual sex” at least once. He also insisted that Taylor’s allegations against the athlete are a “money grab.”
Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, also denied the allegations, saying Brown is a “loving father of five children, including a daughter.”
“I wouldn’t be doing this interview if I didn’t believe Antonio,” Rosenhaus said on ESPN on Wednesday. “These allegations are false. He denies every one of them. I am very confident that his legal team has facts that will prove this.”
In a statement on her lawyer’s website, Taylor said, “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,” Taylor said. “Speaking out removes the shame that I have felt for the past year and places it on the person responsible for my rape.”
A spokesperson for the Patriots said they “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,” the spokesperson said.
The NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Representatives for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office said they “always encourage all victims of sexual assaults to report these matters to the police for proper investigation,” and while the allegations have not been previously reported to them, they “will be reaching out to the pertinent police agencies to determine if they had any prior contacts or investigations.”
“If such police investigations exist, we would certainly be interested in those reports and any related evidence gathered,” the State Attorney’s Office spokesperson said.
A spokesperson for the Miami-Dade Police said they are not currently involved in the case.
A spokesperson for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, where the 2017 incident allegedly occurred, said they “have not received any criminal complaints of sexual assault regarding, nor are there or any active investigations into, Antonio Brown.”
BuzzFeed News has reached out to the district attorney in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
The NFL has a recent track record of players being accused of domestic violence or sexual misconduct.
In 2014, Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens was charged with assault for punching his then-fiancé in the head and knocking her out. Kareem Hunt was cut from the Kansas City Chiefs after he was caught on video attacking a woman in a hotel lobby in 2018, but was later signed by the Cleveland Browns, where he is currently suspended.
Reuben Foster of the Washington Redskins was charged with domestic violence against an ex-girlfriend, with the charges later being dropped. In 2014, while at Oklahoma State, Tyreek Hill pleaded guilty to domestic violences charges for beating his pregnant girlfriend. In March he was accused of child abuse.