What to Know
- Three alleged incidents took place in 2017 and 2018 and range from Brown exposing himself to rape
- Brown denies the allegations, and his lawyer described the night of the alleged rape as ending in consensual sex
NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown, just signed by the New England Patriots, is accused of raping his former trainer in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in Florida.
In the lawsuit, Britney Taylor alleges Brown forced her onto a bed and raped her while she shouted for him to stop, leaving her traumatized.
"Brown preyed on Ms. Taylor’s kindness and her religious devotion, casting himself as a person equally dedicated to his religious faith and someone she could trust," reads the complaint, filed in the U.S. Southern District Court of Florida. "In reality, he used manipulation and false promises to lure her into his world, and once there, he sexually assaulted and raped her."
Brown learned of the lawsuit the day it was filed and "denies each and every allegation" in it, a lawyer representing him said in a statement.
The lawyer said that Brown and his accuser had "a consensual personal relationship" and that any sexual interactions they had were consensual.
Before raping Taylor in May 2018, the lawsuit alleges, Brown exposed himself to her and kissed her without consent during a training session in 2017. Weeks later, he allegedly ejaculated on her back and bragged about it in text messages.
Those two incidents prompted her to stop working with him, according to the lawsuit, but she agreed to train him again after he reached out and promised to "cease any sexual advances."
The rape took place about a month after she resumed working with him, after she went to a club with Brown and some friends, then drove Brown home in Miami, Taylor alleges.
"Ms. Taylor pleaded with him, shouting 'no' and 'stop.' But Brown refused and proceeded with great violence to penetrate her," the lawsuit says. "Ms. Taylor protested and cried the entire time."
It's not clear if Taylor reported the incidents to police.
Brown's lawyer described the night of the alleged rape as ending in consensual sex after his accuser "invited herself to join Mr. Brown and his friends, who were patrons at Miami adult entertainment clubs," for several hours of partying.
Brown's statement also alleges that Taylor cut off communication with him in 2017 after he rebuffed her request to invest in a business, but "resurfaced" in 2018 with an offer to train Brown in Florida and Pennsylvania.
The New York Times first reported the lawsuit.
In a separate statement posted to her lawyer's website, Taylor said, "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."
The allegation comes after a tumultuous professional offseason for Brown, who was released from the Oakland Raiders after a confrontation with its general manager following missed practices and other training camp drama.
But the player was quickly signed by the Patriots to a one-year deal.
"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 team said in a statement late Tuesday night. "We take these allegations very seriously. Under no circumstance 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 the investigation takes place."
NBC does not usually identify victims of sexual crimes, but Taylor's statement identified her.