Britney Taylor, a former Central Michigan gymnast and trainer for Antonio Brown, accused the star receiver of three separate instances of sexual assault and rape, according to a federal lawsuit filed in the Southern District of Florida Tuesday — the same Day Brown officially became a New England Patriot — the New York Times first reported.
Brown has denied the accusations through his attorney, Darren Heitner, who said in a statement via Twitter Tuesday evening that his client, "will leave no stone unturned and will aggressively defend himself including exercising all of his rights in countersuits."
But according to Taylor’s suit filed in the United States Southern District of Florida Court, Brown twice assaulted her during 2017 training sessions, first kissing her without consent then masturbating behind her and ejaculating on her back without Taylor’s knowledge. Brown later brags about his act in text messages, Taylor’s report states.
On May 20, 2018, after his assurances that there would be no further advances persuaded Taylor to resume their working relationship, Brown is accused of forcibly raping Taylor at his Florida home.
“As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision,” Taylor said via a legal statement released to the New York Times’ Ben Shpigel, who first reported the complaint. “I have found strength in my faith, my family, and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault.”
It’s unclear whether Taylor has or intends to press criminal charges against Brown, the former seven-time Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowler who was signed by the Patriots earlier this week within hours of his forced release from the Oakland Raiders following a months-long pattern of subordination.
Brown was acquired from Pittsburgh by the Raiders in exchange for third- and fifth-round draft picks in March after skipping the Steelers' must-win Week 17 game last season over a spat with QB Ben Roethlisberger. Brown, whose 15 receiving touchdowns paced the league in what was considered by many a down year by his standards, received a new contract containing $30 million in guarantees from Oakland but earned less than $1 million, which he may be required to return to the Raiders, after an eventful and seemingly never-ending off-field saga that included a French Cryotherapy chamber mishap leading to frostbite; a pair of grievances against the NFL over an outlawed helmet; nearly an entire missed training camp and preseason; and a self-produced hype video including audio of Raiders coach Jon Gruden pleading with him to "cut the shit and play football" dropping on the eve of his release.
It's also unclear what knowledge, if any, the Patriots had prior to signing Brown,the NFL's leader in receptions and receiving yards since entering the league with the Steelers as a sixth-round pick out of Central Michigan in 2010.