Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby on Sunday morning released a statement defending his friend, former Florida State teammate and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston against allegations Winston inappropriately groped an Uber driver during a ride in Arizona in March 2016.
News of the allegations came to light early last week and the NFL is investigating the Uber driver's claims. Darby says he was in the backseat of the car with Winston on the night of the alleged groping.
"I felt the need to come forward and clarify some inaccurate accounts of the evening March 13, 2016, when myself, a friend and Jameis Winston took an Uber ride in Arizona," Darby said in Sunday's statement. "There were three of us in the car, not just one, as has been reported. Myself and Jameis were in the backseat. I am confident that nothing inappropriate in nature happened in the car that evening and Jameis did not have any physical contact with the Uber driver. The accusations are just not true."
Darby and Winston played together at FSU from 2012-2014 and formed a close bond. But it was during that time at FSU that Winston, the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner, came into the limelight for a variety of wrong reasons.
While redshirting in 2012, he was detained by police for causing property damage with a BB gun. In April 2014, he was cited for shoplifting crab legs from a supermarket and subsequently suspended from the Seminoles' baseball team. He was suspended for a game against Clemson in September 2014 for shouting an inappropriate phrase in a cafeteria.
But most notably, Winston was accused of sexually assaulting FSU student Erica Kinsman during an alleged December 2012 incident in his apartment. Winston was never charged by police in Tallahassee, where FSU is located, and the Florida state attorney's office also did not pursue criminal charges.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Darby was in Winston's apartment the night of the alleged sexual assault.
That case turned into a federal lawsuit that was eventually settled in December 2016.