A woman who used to train New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown has accused the NFL star of rape in a federal lawsuit filed in Florida on Tuesday.
Britney Taylor, 28, accuses Brown of rape and two instances of sexual assault, alleging he exposed himself to her and kissed her without consent in June 2017, then performed a sex act in her presence later that month. After Brown expressed regret for his action, she agreed to work with him again and he raped her in May 2018, according to allegations in the lawsuit filed in a Florida federal court.
“Mr. Brown denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit,” Brown’s attorney, Darren Heitner, said in a statement.
Brown and Taylor had a consensual personal relationship that began in 2018 and the sexual acts were consensual, the statement said.
“Antonio Brown will leave no stone unturned and will aggressively defend himself, including exercising all of his rights in countersuits,” Heitner later tweeted.
Brown is in his 10th NFL season and is a four-time first-team All-Pro.
“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,” the Patriots said in a statement late Tuesday. “Under no circumstance does this organization condone sexual violence or assault.”
Taylor, who lives in Memphis, Tennessee, said it was a difficult decision to speak out. According to the lawsuit, she has suffered insomnia, weight loss, almost-daily panic attacks and contemplated suicide.
Taylor, who lives in Memphis, Tennessee, said it was a difficult decision to speak out.
“I have found strength in my faith, my family and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault. Speaking out removes the shame that I have felt for the past year and places it on the person responsible for my rape,” her statement said. “I will cooperate with the NFL and any other agencies; however, at this time, I respectfully request that the media please respect my privacy.”
What the lawsuit alleges
In June 2017, according to the lawsuit, Taylor was staying in one of Brown’s Pittsburgh-area homes when he exposed himself to her and kissed her. She pushed him away and left the room, the lawsuit says.
After the two sexual assaults, the lawsuit says, Taylor stopped communicating with Brown. In February and March 2018, Brown sent her messages expressing contrition and trying to re-establish a training relationship, the lawsuit says.
Taylor agreed, and the lawsuit asserts she ended up adding other duties, such as babysitting and scheduling.
In May 2018, they went out with friends to a nightclub, the suit alleges, and she drove Brown and another man back to Brown’s Miami home. Taylor, who was staying at a hotel, went inside to use the bathroom and get food, the suit says.
Brown pulled her into his bedroom where they talked, the lawsuit says. When she tried to leave, Brown raped her on his bed, it says. He told her, “You know you want this,” the lawsuit says, and he refused to stop, despite her repeated pleas.
She told her fiancé about the rape months after it happened, prompting difficulties in their relationship, the lawsuit says.
At some point, the court documents say, a leader at Taylor’s church – a former sex crimes prosecutor – “recognized the signs of trauma Ms. Taylor was experiencing because of the sexual assault, and recommended she enter intensive therapy and retain legal counsel.”
In her complaint, filed in the Southern District of Florida, Taylor accuses Brown of sexual battery (rape), battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment and invasion of privacy. Taylor is seeking unspecified punitive and compensatory damages.
Through his attorney, Brown said he thinks Taylor is after his money after he refused to invest in her business project.
The lawsuit says Taylor, a former gymnast, and Brown met in 2010 when they were paired as Bible study partners at the Central Michigan University chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Taylor says Brown reached out to her on social media around 2013 to request a photo. When she sent a picture of her face, the lawsuit states, he asked for something more revealing and she declined, saying they were just friends.
Taylor says in the lawsuit that she had no romantic interest in Brown and she considered theirs a “brother-sister type” relationship, the lawsuit says.