FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — Newly-acquired Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown is being accused of rape, according to a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in Florida.
The lawsuit, filed by a 28-year-old woman described as a gymnast, a college classmate of Brown’s and his former trainer, alleges that Brown sexually assaulted and raped her on three occasions in June 2017 and May 2018.
Brown allegedly exposed himself to the woman and then kissed her during a June 2017 training session, according to the lawsuit.
The alleged victim claimed that he sexually assaulted her later that month, at which point she severed ties with him, but re-established them several months later after he apologized.
Brown then allegedly forcibly raped the woman in May 2018. Her attorneys claim that she has suffered panic attacks and suicidal thoughts since that time.
She also denies ever having any dating or romantic relationship with Brown – a claim which Brown’s attorneys dispute.
In a media release, his legal team called the allegations “false accusations” and claimed that the accuser contacted Brown in 2017 just after he signed a large contract in order to ask him to invest in a business project, which he refused.
Brown’s attorney said that the woman then cut off contact with him, but “resurfaced” in 2018 to train him and she “engaged Mr. Brown in a consensual personal relationship” that included consensual sex in May of 2018.
Brown’s attorney called the woman’s claims a “money grab.”
It’s not clear whether or not the accuser reported the alleged assaults to the police.
Early Wednesday morning, the Patriots released a statement on the allegations, which read “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 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 that investigation takes place.”
Brown, 31, signed a one-year, $15 million contract with the Patriots on Saturday. The Oakland Raiders cut him earlier that day after a series of off-season conflicts with the team.