On Tuesday in Florida, a woman who worked as a physical trainer for wide receiver Antonio Brown filed a civil lawsuit accusing him of rape. ABC News reported, "The woman, who worked as a physical trainer for Brown, alleges the NFL Pro Bowler sexually assaulted her twice in June 2017 while they were working together, and a third time after a night out in Miami in May 2018."
The lawsuit states, "He used manipulation and false promises to lure her into his world, and once there, he sexually assaulted and raped her. These heinous acts have inflicted severe and dramatic damage on Ms. Taylor, irreparably harming her." The lawsuit adds that on May 20, 2018, Brown "forced her down onto a bed ... and forcibly raped her." Brown's lawyer countered by saying the plaintiff, who had known Brown since 2010 when she was a freshman gymnast at Central Michigan University where he was on the football team, invited herself to visit a strip club with him and his friends, later having consensual sex with Brown in his hotel room.
Darren Heitner, an attorney for Brown, stated that any sexual activity between his client and the plaintiff was consensual and added, "Mr. Brown denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit. He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations."
According to Brown’s representatives, in 2017 the plaintiff asked for Brown to invest $1.6 million in a business project, but Brown discovered that the woman was going to use the money to pay off a tax lien on her property. They said that discovery prompted him to sever the relationship, but by 2018, that relationship was restored and they had "a consensual personal relationship."
Heitner alleged that the woman even stayed at Brown’s home after one of the alleged assaults was to have occurred, and posted pictures of her and Brown on social media.
Brown’s off-season has been full of trouble; the Oakland Raiders sent two draft picks to the Pittsburgh Steelers for Brown, whose contract was reworked so he earned $50.1 million over three years, including a guaranteed $30.1 million, as USA Today reported. But he missed some of training camp after using a cryogenic chamber without proper footwear and getting frostbite.
Then, last week, Brown fought with general manager Mike Mayock, The Daily Wire reported:
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown will avoid suspension after allegedly calling his general manager Mike Mayock, who is white, a "cracker" during a heated confrontation on Wednesday. As noted by SFGate, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported Thursday that a heated Brown engaged Mayock in a "screaming match" and threatened the GM with violence in the midst of a Wednesday practice over a $14,000 fine for missing a team walk through on August 22.
Last Friday, Brown offered an apology to the team at a team meeting. On Saturday, the Raiders voided his $30 million contract and released him, prompting the New England Patriots to sign him.
After the rape lawsuit was announced, the Patriots released this statement:
We are aware of the civil lawsuit that was filed earlier today against Antonio Brown, as well as the response by Antonio’s representatives. We take these allegations very seriously. Under no circumstances does this organization condone sexual violence or assault. The league has informed us that they will be investigating. We will have no further comment while that investigation takes place.