New England Patriots receiver Antonio Brown has been accused of raping his former trainer in a lawsuit filed Tuesday, The New York Times reports. Britney Taylor, a gymnast who Brown met while they were both attending Central Michigan University and whom he later hired as a trainer, alleged in the suit that he sexually assaulted her on three separate occasions in 2017 and 2018. Brown has denied the allegations and vowed to “clear his name.”
The lawsuit accuses Brown of assaulting Taylor twice during training sessions in June 2017—first exposing himself and kissing her, then masturbating behind her and ejaculating on her back, according to the lawsuit.
Taylor says in the lawsuit that she ended her working relationship with Brown but was later swayed by his apology. But she alleges Brown then forced her face-down on a mattress and “forcibly” raped her in May 2018, despite her efforts to resist him and shouts to “stop.”
“As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision,” Taylor said in a statement through her lawyer. “I have found strength in my faith, my family, and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault.” It is not clear whether Taylor reported her accusations to police, but she said she would cooperate with the NFL in an investigation.
In a statement, Brown's lawyer said his client denied “each and every allegation in the lawsuit" and would be pursuing “all legal remedies” against the accusations. The attorney, Darren Heitner, also asserted that his client and Taylor were in a “consensual personal relationship” in 2018 and Taylor “solicited” Brown in May 2018 to engage in “consensual sex.”
“Mr. Brown, whose hard work and dedication to his craft has allowed him to rise to the top of his profession, refuses to be the victim of what he believes to be a money grab,” Heitner wrote. According to ESPN, Brown intends to countersue Taylor for “civil extortion.”
Brown became a player for the New England Patriots on Monday after being released by the Oakland Raiders. The teams have not yet commented on the allegations.