Antonio Brown, the newly signed wide receiver to the New England Patriots, has been accused of sexual assault on three separate occasions by his former trainer Britney Taylor.
Taylor filed the federal lawsuit on Tuesday and accused Brown of forcibly kissing her on one occasion in 2017 then masturbating near her during another encounter in 2017 while she was helping him train for the upcoming NFL season. The next year, she accused Brown of raping her on May 20, 2018.
Brown’s lawyer, Darren Heitner, released a statement saying his client had a “consensual personal relationship” with Taylor and “denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit.” Heitner continued, “He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false allegations.”
According to the lawsuit, Taylor first met Brown at Central Michigan University in 2010 through the Fellowship for Christian Athletes, where they became Bible study partners. Taylor was a freshman gymnast, while Brown was a junior football player.
Taylor says the two of them reconnected in 2017 when Brown requested that she train him. She flew to Pittsburgh and Florida to meet him for the training session, reads the complaint.
In June 2017, Taylor was staying at Brown’s home for a session and while she was in the bathroom, Brown walked in exposed, says the lawsuit. He then “grabbed and kissed her without her consent,” according to the lawsuit, and Taylor “pushed him away and immediately left the room.”
In another incident in 2017, the suit says Brown and Taylor were watching a church service on Taylor’s iPad at Brown’s Miami home. Brown then allegedly masturbated behind Taylor and ejaculated on her back. Afterwards, the lawsuit claims “in astonishingly profane and angry text messages, Brown bragged about the incident to her.”
The suit says Taylor cut contact with Brown after this. However, according to The Boston Globe, Brown’s lawyer argues that Taylor actually approached Brown again is 2017 to ask him to invest $1.6 million in her business project. Heitner continues, “Mr. Brown was not informed by his accuser that she had just been levied with a $30,000 IRS tax lien or that $300,000 of the $1.6 million so-called ‘investment’ was to be used to purchase property already owned by the accuser and her mother. When Mr. Brown refused to make the $1.6 million ‘investment,’ the accuser supposedly cut off communications with Mr. Brown.”
Though both sides have differing accounts on why they cut ties, the two eventually reconnected in 2018. Taylor’s suite says, “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.”
However, Taylor argues that Brown did not meet their terms. The suit claims that Taylor was visiting Brown in the Miami area on May 20, 2018 when he pinned her down onto a bed, shoved her face into the mattress and forcibly raped her. The suit says Taylor tried to resist the assault but “Brown was too strong and physically overpowered her.” The suite says Taylor screamed and cried the whole time while repeatedly shouting “no” and “stop.”
“Brown’s assaults and rape have severely traumatized Ms. Taylor. Ms. Taylor has suffered near-daily panic attacks and suicidal ideations,” says the lawsuit.
The Patriots released a statement on Tuesday night saying that the NFL will be investigating the allegations. “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 statement said. “We take these allegations very seriously. Under no circumstance does this organization condone sexual violence or assault.”
Meanwhile, in a statement released by her lawyer, Taylor explained, “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.”
At one point, the suit says Taylor sought counseling and she even took a polygraph test conducted by one of the country’s leading examiners, who used to lead the FBI’s polygraph program. According to the lawsuit, the examination confirmed that Taylor’s accounts were “completely truthful” regarding the alleged 2018 rape and 2017 ejaculation assault.
The suit says Taylor opened up her own training center in her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee back in 2016. She continues to train girls there till this day.