Antonio Brown accused of sexual assault in suit
Antonio Brown has been accused of sexually assaulting his former trainer, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida.
In the lawsuit, a copy of which was reviewed by ESPN, Brown’s former trainer, Britney Taylor, accuses the New England Patriots receiver of sexually assaulting her on three separate occasions in 2017 and ’18.
The first alleged incident came in June 2017, with Taylor saying Brown exposed himself and kissed her without consent. A month later, Taylor alleges in the lawsuit, Brown masturbated near her without her knowledge and ejaculated on her back, then later bragged about it in a series of text messages. And then, in May 2018, Taylor alleges that Brown “forced her down onto a bed, pushed her face into the mattress, and forcibly raped her.”
Brown’s lawyer, Darren Heitner, said in a statement Tuesday night that the receiver and Taylor were involved in a “consensual personal relationship. Any sexual interaction with Mr. Brown was entirely consensual.”
Heitner said they will pursue “all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations.”
Taylor was a gymnast at Central Michigan, where Brown attended college. According to the lawsuit, they met in a bible-study group at the school and stayed friends, then fell out of touch for several years before reconnecting in June 2017, with Brown hiring her to assist in his physical training.
The alleged incidents have left Taylor suffering “near-daily panic attacks and suicidal ideations,” per the lawsuit.
“As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision,” Taylor said in a statement. “I have found strength in my faith, my family, and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault.”
Brown, a Miami native, was officially signed by the Patriots on Monday after a weeks-long saga with the Raiders that eventually led to his release. He is scheduled to practice for the first time with New England on Wednesday.
Heitner told ESPN’s Michael Eaves that he’s “not been in contact with the league regarding this lawsuit.”
There was no immediate comment from the Patriots or the NFL.