New England Patriots’ star wide receiver Antonio Brown has been accused of raping his former trainer.
According to a federal lawsuit filed on Tuesday and obtained by The New York Times, the alleged incidents took place in June 2017 and May 2018.
News broke of the lawsuit just hours after it was announced that the New England Patriots had signed Brown to a one-year contract worth up to $15 million with a $9 million signing bonus.
His accuser, a gymnast who identifies herself as Britney Taylor in the suit, met Brown while they were both attending Central Michigan together. He later hired her as his personal trainer.
According to the suit, Taylor alleges that Brown sexually assaulted her twice during training sessions in June 2017, The New York Times reported. The first time, Brown allegedly exposed himself and kissed her without her permission. That same month, he allegedly masturbated behind her and ejaculated on her back.
Brown allegedly gloated over the incidents in text messages that were included in the suit. In the messages, Brown allegedly admitted to the act and slammed Taylor as a “failed gymnast.”
Following the messages, Brown allegedly apologized to Taylor after she ended their work relationship, according to the lawsuit.
However, on May 20, 2018, Brown allegedly raped Taylor, forcing her onto a bed and pushing her face into a mattress.
In response to the lawsuit, Brown’s attorney Darren Heitner released a statement denying “each and every allegation.”
“He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations,” Heitner said.
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Heitner went on to claim that Taylor approached Brown in 2017 after he signed a contract, “making him the highest paid wide receiver in the NFL.”
Heitner claims Taylor asked Brown to invest $1.6 million dollars in a business project she was working on. When he refused, Heitner explained that’s when the two cut ties.
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They reconnected again in 2018 when Taylor offered to train Brown for the upcoming NFL season, Heitner said in the statement.
“Thereafter, the accuser engaged Mr. Brown in a consensual personal relationship,” Heitner claims. “Any sexual interaction with Mr. Brown was entirely consensual.”