FORT LAUDERDALE (CNN) – Antonio Brown has countersued a woman who accused him of rape, not only denying her allegations but also accusing her of defamation and causing the former NFL star to lose lucrative professional contracts.
Brown, a free agent, filed his countersuit against Britney Taylor on Wednesday in his home state of Florida, two months after she filed a civil suit accusing him of rape and sexual assault.
His filing in Broward County claims Taylor, a college acquaintance who became one of his offseason athletic trainers, became upset with him because he declined her requests to invest in a gymnastics business she was developing.
“Taylor’s false accusations about Brown interfered with the contracts and business relationships he had with the NFL, as well as multiple businesses with whom he had contracts for sponsorships and endorsements, resulting in significant financial loss for Brown,” the wide receiver’s counterclaim reads.
Brown’s filing, like Taylor’s suit, asks for a jury trial. Though Taylor accuses Brown in a civil suit, he has not been charged with a crime.
Taylor’s attorney, David Haas, said Wednesday that she “will not be bullied and remains steadfast in holding Defendant Brown accountable.”
Brown, a seven-time Pro Bowl selectee who once was one of the NFL’s highest-paid players, has been out of the league since September 20, when the New England Patriots released him 10 days after Taylor filed her lawsuit.
The allegations against Brown
Brown and Taylor, a former collegiate gymnast, have said they met as students at Central Michigan University before he left for the NFL in 2010. Taylor’s lawsuit says they were paired as Bible study partners at the school’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Brown’s filing says they had only cursory communication until sometime around June 2017, after Brown signed a $72 million extension with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The sides disagree about who initiated contact, but they agree that she began meeting him that month to train him for flexibility and ankle strength.
In her lawsuit, Taylor alleges Brown sexually assaulted her twice in June 2017 and — after Brown allegedly expressed contrition and they resumed communication — raped her at his Florida home in May 2018.
Brown denies he assaulted or raped Taylor. His court filing says they engaged in consensual sexual acts in 2017, and had sexual intercourse only once, in May 2018.
Brown alleges Taylor asked him to invest in her business, but he declined
Brown says that while Taylor was training him in June 2017, she repeatedly asked him to invest more than $1.6 million in a gymnastics training center she was developing. He eventually declined, at the recommendation of his business advisers, his counterclaim reads.
When Brown wanted to train with Taylor again in the 2018 NFL offseason, Taylor asked Brown to sign a personal training agreement, the athlete alleges.
The agreement had clauses that would have required him to “finance a 12-month lease for a new facility for Taylor’s purported gymnastics business, as well as a clause requiring Brown to promote Taylor on his social media sites,” Brown’s counterclaim reads.
Brown declined to execute the contract. Still, Taylor traveled to various locations to train Brown in May and June 2018, the counterclaim alleges.
Brown later “took time to respond to Taylor’s requests for football tickets in the fall,” and “Taylor continued to use her relationship with Brown to promote her gymnastics business on social media,” the counterclaim reads.
But “after failing to gain the purported business funding she sought from Brown or the relationship status she desired, Taylor began a vicious campaign of lies against Brown,” starting as early as January 2019, the counterclaim reads.
Those “vile, vicious and defamatory statements” included accusations that Brown raped her, according to the counterclaim.
The counterclaim also alleges Brown entered into a confidentiality agreement in March that “precludes him from discussing a number of relevant events that have since transpired.”
Unless Taylor waives that agreement or a court releases Brown from it, Brown “will remain unable to properly plead the extent of the harm he has endured,” Brown’s filing says.
Athlete claims allegations cost him
The counterclaim said Taylor “was well aware of the substantial amount of money Brown stood to lose as a result of her false accusations.” In September, Nike said it no longer had an endorsement deal with the athlete.
Haas, Taylor’s attorney, said Wednesday that Brown was blaming her “for the self-destructive conduct that led to the demise of his NFL career.”
“In the past, Defendant Brown has used intimidation to avoid responsibility for his actions. However, Ms. Taylor will not be bullied and remains steadfast in holding defendant Brown accountable,” Haas said in a statement he released on Twitter.
Brown’s attorney, Camille Blanton, said in a statement Thursday that Taylor continued communicating with Brown following the day of the alleged rape.
“Mr. Brown is committed to his continued aggressive response to Taylor’s false allegations,” Blanton said. “Not only does Mr. Brown seek to clear his name, but he also desires to make a statement that there is not an open season to extort professional athletes.”
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