October 17, 2019

Antonio Brown Accuser Says She Got Intimidating Texts

Antonio Brown Accuser Says She Got Intimidating Texts


A woman who said she endured unwelcome sexual behavior from Antonio Brown two years ago accused the New England Patriots receiver of sending her texts on Wednesday night that she found intimidating.

The texts, first reported by Sports Illustrated, seemed to encourage a third party to research the woman’s history and included a photograph of her children.

The woman, an artist, had told Sports Illustrated this week that while she was working on a mural at Brown’s house in 2017 he approached her from behind naked, with a hand towel over his genitals. She was later fired, she said. Brown, through his lawyer, has denied the incident occurred.

The accusation from the artist comes after another woman, Britney Taylor, who worked as his trainer, filed a lawsuit accusing Brown of sexually assaulting and raping her in 2017.

In the aftermath of the article detailing the mural painter’s allegation, she said she received texts from the same phone number Brown had used when he hired her. The texts dismissed her story about his appearing naked in her presence, and suggested she invented it to make money. The texts printed by Sports Illustrated suggest to someone identified as “Eric B” that he look into her history, and another party in the group text replies, “Yes Sir we will do that.”

Brown’s lawyer, Darren Heitner, did not participate in the texts, but his number was included in the group. He told Sports Illustrated that he had not advised Brown to contact the mural artist but would not comment further.

Lisa J. Banks, the artist’s lawyer, told Sports Illustrated that her client was “understandably frightened by these text messages.”

“This sort of intimidation and harassment is the reason victims are often so reluctant to step forward in these cases,” Banks said.

Sports Illustrated did not identify the woman. Banks did not immediately return a request from The New York Times for comment on her client’s allegations.

N.F.L. investigators, who this week interviewed the woman who accused Brown of rape, arranged for a phone call about the episode with the artist’s lawyers, according to a person with knowledge of the arrangement who insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose details of the case.

Brown’s agent did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Brown and the Patriots are scheduled to host the Jets on Sunday. On Friday, Patriots Coach Bill Belichick abruptly ended a news conference after reporters asked multiple questions about Brown. He declined to answer them.

“I’m not going to have any comment on any of the off-the-field situations or questions on that,” Belichick said. “Anything about football, I could answer.”

It has been eventful year for Brown. He was sent from the Steelers, where he played for nine years, seven of them as a Pro Bowler, to the Raiders in the off-season.

He then missed much of training camp with blistered feet, apparently caused by a cryogenic therapy chamber. Next came a dispute over his helmet, with Brown preferring a decade-old model that is no longer approved for use. He lost a grievance about the matter.

Unhappy, Brown was very active on social media throughout the Raiders’ preseason, posting a letter from the team about his fines for missing practice as well as a phone conversation with his coach.

An altercation with his general manager, Mike Mayock, and a plea from Brown for his release, helped bring an end of his brief time with Oakland. The Patriots swooped in to acquire him as a free agent within hours.

In his debut for New England last Sunday, Brown caught four passes, including one for a touchdown, in a 43-0 win over the Dolphins.

On Thursday, Nike said it had terminated its contract with Brown. He also lost a contract with Xenith, the helmet manufacturer.

Kevin Draper contributed reporting.





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