New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown accused of rape in lawsuit

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was cut just days ago by the Oakland Raiders after a host of disciplinary problems, has been accused of rape in a civil lawsuit filed Tuesday in Florida.

Britney Taylor, who worked as a physical trainer for Brown, alleges that the NFL Pro Bowler sexually assaulted her twice in June 2017 while they were working together, and a third time after a night out in Miami in May 2018.

“He used manipulation and false promises to lure her into his world, and once there, he sexually assaulted and raped her,” the lawsuit says of Brown. “These heinous acts have inflicted severe and dramatic damage on Ms. Taylor, irreparably harming her.”

Although ABC News does not typically name alleged victims of sexual assault, Taylor’s attorney revealed her identity in statements to the press and also confirmed that Taylor filed the suit in her own name.

Brown’s lawyer flatly denied the allegations.

“Mr. Brown denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit,” Brown’s lawyer, Darren Heitner, said in a statement. “He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations.”

Heitner said any sexual relationship between the two was consensual.

“We are aware of the civil lawsuit that was filed earlier today against Antonio Brown, as well as the response by Antonio’s representatives,” officials with the New England Patriots said in a statement Tuesday night. “We take these allegations very seriously. Under no circumstances 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’s representatives said Taylor approached Brown in 2017 and asked him to invest $1.6 million in her business project, but he turned her down after learning she allegedly intended to pay off a tax lien on her home and cut off communication with her. She approached him again in 2018, though, and the two engaged in “a consensual personal relationship.”

Heitner also says the 28-year-old woman stayed at Brown’s house after one of the alleged assaults and continued contact with him throughout 2018 and posted photos of the two on social media.

The lawsuit lays out a May 20, 2018, incident in which Taylor says Brown “forced her down onto a bed … and forcibly raped her” despite trying to resist him and repeatedly screaming and crying throughout.

Brown’s lawyer said Taylor invited herself to a strip club with him and his friends and later invited herself to join him in his hotel room, where the two had consensual sex.

The two have known each other since 2010 when Taylor was a freshman gymnast at Central Michigan University and he played for the football team.

The lawsuit lays out detailed information of the pair’s relationship and includes graphic text messages Brown allegedly sent to her. She is asking for a jury trial.

Brown, 31, has been in the news almost constantly for the past month as he apparently tried to force his way out of Oakland, where he had been traded in the offseason. The Pittsburgh Steelers decided to deal the discontent receiver just months earlier.

He missed time with frostbite on his feet due to a cryotherapy mishap, petitioned the league to be able to use a now-banned helmet and repeatedly — and openly — battled with Oakland general manager Mike Mayock on social media. He was fined multiple times and eventually forced his way off the team by asking for his release on Instagram last week.

The Raiders voided Brown’s $30 million contract when they released him.

The defending champion New England Patriots signed the receiver over the weekend. Much of the contract is not guaranteed, and incentive-based.

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