Woman accusing Antonio Brown of rape is meeting with NFL, source says
It is expected to be a “long interview,” the source said, but other details — including the meeting’s location — were not clear. The meeting was still going on as of early Monday evening, the source said.
Brown’s attorney, Darren Heitner, did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
Previously, Britney Taylor’s attorney, David Haas, said she would meet with the league sometime this week.
Taylor, who was Brown’s Bible study partner in college before she began training the star wide receiver, filed a lawsuit in a Florida federal court last week accusing Brown of rape and sexual assault. No criminal charges have been filed.
CNN does not usually name victims of sexual assault, but Taylor is named in the lawsuit and provided CNN an on-the-record statement via her attorney.
Brown denies the accusations
Brown, who is in his 10th NFL season and is a four-time first-team All-Pro, signed a multimillion-dollar contract with the New England Patriots earlier this month after being released by the Oakland Raiders. He played his first game with the Patriots on Sunday, scoring a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins.
After the lawsuit was filed, the Patriots said they were aware of the allegations and take them seriously.
“Under no circumstance does this organization condone sexual violence or assault,” the team statement said. “The league has informed us that they will be investigating. We will have no further comment while that investigation takes place.”
Brown “denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit,” Heitner said in a statement.
Brown and Taylor had a consensual relationship that started in 2018, the attorney said, adding that Brown will “aggressively defend himself.”
Taylor alleges Brown sexually assaulted her twice in June 2017 before raping her in May 2018.
A former gymnast, Taylor met Brown in 2010 when they were paired as Bible study partners at the Central Michigan University chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, according to the lawsuit. They remained in touch after he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers and she transferred to Louisiana State University, where she continued to compete in NCAA gymnastics.
Brown reached out to her on social media around 2013 to ask for photos of her, Taylor alleges in the lawsuit. When she sent a photo of her face, the lawsuit states, he asked for something more revealing and she refused, reminding him they were only friends.
Four years later, he contacted her again, she says in the lawsuit, and learned that she had a gymnastics studio. He said he wanted her to train him to improve his flexibility and improve his ankle strength, the suit says.
After the two sexual assaults in 2017, 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, including scheduling and babysitting.
In May 2018, they went out with friends to a nightclub, the lawsuit says, and she drove Brown and a friend 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 but when she tried to leave he raped her on his bed, the suit says.
The complaint accuses Brown of sexual battery (rape), battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment and invasion of privacy.
Another alleged encounter
Heitner, Brown’s attorney, released a statement Monday on Twitter saying his client denies an account in Sports Illustrated about another alleged encounter.
“Antonio Brown has reviewed the sexual misconduct allegations made by an unnamed artist included in a recently published Sports Illustrated article and denies that he ever engaged in such activities. There will be no further comment at this time,” Heitner wrote.
Sophia Hanson, a colleague and friend of the unidentified woman who alleged inappropriate sexual advances, says her colleague told her about the alleged incident “immediately after it happened.”
The artist, hired to paint a mural inside Brown’s Pittsburgh home, said the athlete appeared behind her on her second day working at the home, while naked, holding a small hand towel over his genitals, according to Sports Illustrated.
“It was extremely inappropriate,” Hanson, co-founder of the National Youth Foundation, said of the alleged incident.
Hanson said: “We are just trying to make a difference in the world. We run a foundation on gender equality to teach children to respect everyone and for this to happen to one of our artists is just terrible.”
Hanson added that her friend “does not want to be known for this” and is not planning to pursue charges.
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