NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown could face criminal charges as a Pittsburgh District Attorney’s office says they will be looking into the sexual assault allegations made against him.
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala said Wednesday afternoon that his office will ‘take a look’ into claims that Brown sexually assaulted his former fitness instructor Britney Taylor on three occasions between 2017 and 2018.
Zappala’s office released a statement saying: ‘This office, as a matter of course, will review information in a federal lawsuit whenever that information references potential criminal activity, even if that activity had not been previously known to law enforcement.’
The allegations against Brown came just as the former Pittsburgh Steeler signed a one-year contract for $15million with the New England Patriots – leading his agent to insist that the claims against the star are a ‘money grab’.
On Saturday, Antonio Brown was released by the Oakland Raiders, who previously made him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL by signing him to a three-year, $50 million deal after acquiring him in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hours after his release, Brown signed a one-year, $15 million deal to join the New England Patriots. Brown’s agent Drew Rosenhaus has refused to say if he alerted the Patriots about the possibility of a lawsuit he says he anticipated
Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown is being sued by his ex-fitness instructor Britney Taylor, who claims he sexually assaulted her on three occasions between 2017 and 2018
‘This is a money grab,’ Brown’s agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN on Wednesday, adding, ‘these allegations in the lawsuit are false.’
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala said Wednesday he will be looking into the sexual assault allegations made against Antonio Brown
The Patriots only learned about the accusation on Tuesday night, when the lawsuit was made public, according to ESPN.
Brown has denied all allegations.
The NFL will investigate the allegations, and there remains a possibility Brown could be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, which would leave him ineligible to play or even practice with his new team.
Taylor is cooperating with the NFL’s investigation and plans on meeting with the NFL next week, but according to ESPN, she is getting married first.
On Saturday, Brown was released by the Oakland Raiders amid a dispute with general manager Mike Mayock.
Hours later, Rosenhaus and Brown agreed to a one-year, $15 million deal with New England that gave the Patriots a $20 million option on the star receiver for the 2020 season.
In March, the Raiders actually made Brown the highest-paid receiver in the NFL by signing him to a three-year, $50 million deal after acquiring him in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Last week, however, the Raiders voided the $30million in guarantees in the deal after Brown confronted Mayock about fines he incurred during his unexcused absences from Raiders training cap.
He had been scheduled to play for the Raiders on Monday against the Denver Broncos, but was given his outright release on Saturday before signing with the Patriots hours later.
Now it is unclear if Brown will be able to play for New England on Sunday against the Dolphins in his native Miami.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick said the team is taking the situation ‘very seriously,’ but did not make any further statements on the subject.
‘I appreciate all the questions,’ he said Wednesday. ‘But what’s been said has been said.’
‘We are aware of the civil lawsuit that was filed earlier today against Antonio Brown, as well as the response by Antonio’s representatives,’ the Patriots said in a statement. ‘We take these allegations very seriously. Under no circumstance does this organization condone sexual violence or assault. The league has informed us that they will be investigating. We will have no further comment while that investigation takes place.’
Although he was hard to see through his visor, Antonio Brown did practice with the Patriots on Wednesday in Foxborough, Massachusetts. He signed a one-year deal with the team Saturday
After the alleged rape, Taylor feared she could have become pregnant or contracted an STD
According to the lawsuit filed Tuesday, Taylor says she was hired by Brown as a personal trainer in 2017 – alleging that first instance of sexual assault took place during a training session that June.
Taylor, a gymnast who first met Brown while they were both studying at Central Michigan University, says the 31-year-old ‘exposed himself and kissed [her] without consent,’ according to documents obtained by DailyMail.com.
She also described a second alleged incident ‘later that same month’, in which Brown is said to have stood behind her and masturbated while she was watching television. Unaware of what he was doing, Taylor said she was surprised when Brown then ‘ejaculated on her back,’ according to the lawsuit.
Filed in federal court in Florida, the lawsuit claims Brown bragged to Taylor about carrying out the purported assault in ‘profane and angry text messages’.
Filed in federal court in Florida, the lawsuit claims Brown bragged to Taylor about carrying out the purported assault in ‘profane and angry text messages’
As a result, Taylor, 28, ended her working relationship with Brown. However, several months later, when the Patriot’s wide receiver contacted her and ‘begged for forgiveness’, she agreed to relent, ‘swayed by his assurance that he would cease any sexual advances’.
But on May 20, 2018, Taylor says Brown assaulted her once more, this time pinning her only a bed, forcing her face into a mattress and ‘forcibly’ raping her.
Taylor said she tried to escape Brown’s hold, repeatedly screaming ‘no and stop’ at him, but the desperate cries allegedly fell on deaf ears and Brown was ‘too strong and physically overpowered her.’
According to the documents, Brown then refused to get off of her and then penetrated her.
‘As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision,’ Taylor 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.’
Taylor added that she’s willing to cooperate with the NFL in any subsequent investigation. It’s not yet clear whether she’s reported her accusations to the police.
Brown’s lawyer Darren Heitner tweeted a statement out on behalf of Brown on Tuesday evening, saying that his client ‘denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit’.
In a later message, he added his client ‘will leave no stone unturned and will aggressively defend himself, including exercising all of his rights in countersuits.’
ANTONIO BROWN TIMELINE
Antonio Brown’s tenure in Oakland without him playing a single game
2010-2018 – After being picked out of Central Michigan in the 2010 NFL Draft, Antonio Brown becomes a star receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, earning seven Pro Bowl selections
June of 2017 – Brown allegedly exposes his penis to trainer Britney Taylor at his home in Pittsburgh and later, she claims, he masturbated near her without her knowledge or consent before ejaculating on her back
May 20, 2018 – Brown allegedly raped Taylor at his Miami home
October 2018 – Brown is accused in a pair of lawsuits of throwing furniture off the balcony of a South Florida apartment and causing ’emotional distress’ to a two-year-old boy who was nearly hit by the debris
November 2018 – Brown is cited for driving over 100 mph in his Porsche while on his way to a game
December 31, 2018 – A day after Brown missed a game against the rival Cincinnati Bengals with a supposed knee problem, it is revealed he was actually benched following a heated argument with teammates
News of the lawsuit against Brown came just two days after All-Pro wide receiver signed a contract with the New England Patriots worth $15 million
February 6, 2019 – Amid a custody battle, Brown is accused of pushing the mother of his daughter to the ground as she dropped off the child at his Miami home
March 9, 2019 – After demanding a trade, Brown is dealt to the Oakland Raiders, who give him a new three-year, $50 million deal with $30 million in guarantees
August 3, 2019 – In a bizarre incident, Brown ‘burns’ his feet in a cryotherapy session and goes on to miss 10 out of the next 11 training camp practices
August 9, 2019 – Brown files a grievance to be allowed to use his old helmet, which is no longer approved by the NFL. Raiders inform him he will be fined for any unexcused absences
Brown missed a substantial portion of training camp after ‘burning’ his feet during a cryotherapy session
September 4, 2019 – Raiders general manager Mike Mayock fines Brown a combined $54,000 for two unexcused absences. Brown posts the picture of the letter from Mayock on Instagram. Earlier in the day, Brown settled his helmet dilemma, and even declared on Instagram that the ‘helmet drama’ was over
September 5, 2019 – Brown confronts Mayock and reportedly calls him a ‘cracker’ before punting a football in anger. Afterwards reports of an imminent suspension surfaced
September 6, 2019 – Brown makes an emotional apology to teammates; coach Jon Gruden announces he will play against the Denver Broncos in the opener
September 7, 2019 – After learning that the Raiders voided $30 million in guarantees in his contract, Brown demands his release on social media. Mayock complies, and by the end of the day, Brown signs a new one-year deal with the New England Patriots for $15 million
September 10, 2019 – It is revealed that Brown is being accused of rape and sexual assault by Taylor
September 11, 2019 – Brown suits up for his first Patriots practice