Antonio Brown of the New England Patriots, the most prominent receiver in the N.F.L., has been accused of raping a woman who worked as his trainer, according to a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida.
The lawsuit says that Brown — in three separate incidents, two in June 2017 and another in May 2018 — sexually assaulted a woman named Britney Taylor, a gymnast whom he met while they were attending Central Michigan together and whom he later hired as a trainer.
The lawsuit was filed one day after Brown, 31, became a Patriot following a series of conflicts that prompted the Oakland Raiders to release him last week.
“Mr. Brown denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit,” said a statement from Darren Heitner, a lawyer representing Brown. “He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations.”
According to the lawsuit, Brown sexually assaulted Taylor twice during training sessions in June 2017. First, he exposed himself and kissed her without her permission, the lawsuit says. Later that month, the lawsuit says, while she was watching a television program at his home, Brown started masturbating behind her and ejaculated on her back. Brown bragged about the incident in profane text messages that are copied in the lawsuit.
Taylor ended her working relationship with Brown, the lawsuit says, but several months later, when he contacted her to apologize, she relented. She was, according to the lawsuit, “swayed by his assurance that he would cease any sexual advances.”
Then, the lawsuit says, on May 20, 2018, Brown forced her onto a bed, pushed her face into the mattress and “forcibly” raped her. She tried to resist him, screaming and repeatedly shouting “no” and “stop,” the lawsuit says, but Brown refused and penetrated her.
“As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision,” Taylor, 28, said in a statement released by her lawyer. “I have found strength in my faith, my family, and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault.”
In the statement, Taylor also said she would cooperate with the N.F.L. in an investigation. It was not clear whether Taylor reported her accusations to the police.
The statement from Brown’s lawyer acknowledged at least one instance when the two engaged in consensual sex and said that “any sexual interaction with Mr. Brown was entirely consensual.”
A spokesman for the Patriots said that the team had not heard about the lawsuit or any related allegations.
Brown is a resident of South Florida, where the lawsuit was filed.
Ken Belson contributed reporting.