Raiders

Ex-Raiders receiver Antonio Brown accused of rape in federal lawsuit

Raiders

Antonio Brown's former trainer filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday in Florida, accusing the former Oakland Raiders wide receiver of raping her.

The New York Times first reported particulars of the suit, which details three incidents in which Britney Taylor alleges that Brown sexually assaulted her. 

In a statement to The Athletic's Nick Underhill, the Patriots said the NFL will be investigating the allegations against Brown and that "[under] no circumstance does this organization condone sexual violence or assault."

Darren Heitner, Brown's lawyer, said the now-New England Patriots wide receiver "denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit" in a lengthy statement. 

When reached by NBC Sports Bay Area, David Haas, one of Taylor's attorneys, pointed to this statement from her posted on his firm's website: “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. Speaking out removes the shame that I have felt for the past year and places it on the person responsible for my rape. I will cooperate with the NFL and any other agencies; however, at this time, I respectfully request that the media please respect my privacy.” 

 

According to the suit, Taylor and Brown first met in 2010 as classmates at Central Michigan University, where Taylor competed as a gymnast. Brown was Taylor's bible-study partner during a meeting for the campus' chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the two "remained in touch" after Brown went to the NFL and Taylor transferred to LSU in 2012. They "fell out of touch" after Taylor graduated, according to the suit. 

The suit said, upon them reconnecting on Facebook, Brown hired Taylor as his trainer in June 2017. Shortly after, Taylor alleged, Brown exposed himself to her while she was getting dressed in his Pittsburgh-area home and "kissed her without her consent." Later that month, Taylor alleged that Brown stood behind her, masturbated and ejaculated on her while the two were watching a church service in his Miami home.

Taylor told Brown's chef she no longer would work for Brown after sharing what had happened and, according to the suit, Brown later fired her via text message.

Taylor said she cut off contact with Brown after he texted her, admitting to ejaculating on her back. The lawsuit contained NSFW screenshots of the alleged text messages.

The suit contends that Brown again reached out to Taylor in February 2018, and the two agreed to begin working together in March "on the condition, which is reflected in writing, that Brown stop flirting with her anymore." They began working together again in April, according to the suit.

On "approximately" May 20, 2018, Brown, Taylor and "another football player who trained with them" went to a club in Miami, the suit said. Taylor said she drove Brown and the football player home, and that Brown "pulled her into his bedroom" soon after she walked into Brown's house.

Then, the suit alleged, "Brown cornered her and pulled her down on the bed on her stomach" when she tried to leave the room. Taylor shouted "no" and "stop," but Brown "forcibly raped her," according to the suit.

In a statement, Heitner said Taylor "solicited Mr. Brown to join her and to return to Mr. Brown's residence where the two engaged in consensual sex."

Brown plans to countersue Taylor for civil extortion, ESPN's Josina Anderson reported Tuesday, citing a source.

Brown joined the Patriots last week, hours after the Raiders released him upon his request. The Raiders did not immediately release a statement on the suit against Brown.