The lawyer for a woman who earlier this week alleged sexual misconduct by Antonio Brown reached out to the NFL on Thursday night after the New England Patriots receiver apparently sent what were described as threatening text messages to her client, Sports Illustrated is reporting.
Attorney Lisa J. Banks wrote the NFL asking it to stop alleged conduct by Brown that she deemed as “intimidating and threatening to our client, in violation of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy,” according to the report. The NFL responded quickly, setting up a phone call between league investigators and the woman’s attorneys.
The woman told SI that, on Wednesday night, she received a group text message that appeared to come from the same phone number Brown gave to her in 2017, when she was hired by the receiver to paint a mural in his suburban Pittsburgh home. The text chain had four other numbers on it, SI reported.
The woman said she believes it was Brown encouraging others in the group to investigate her, describing her as a “super broke girl” and asking someone he refers to as “Eric B” to “look up her background history.” He then sent a screenshot of an Instagram photo she had posted showing the faces of her young children, adding “those her kids … she’s awful broke clearly.”
The texter accused the woman of fabricating her account of the 2017 incident for cash.
The woman’s allegations were first included within a larger Sports Illustrated piece published Monday that detailed multiple domestic incidents involving Brown.
According to SI’s initial report, Brown had hosted a charity softball game in Pittsburgh to benefit the National Youth Foundation, a Pennsylvania-based volunteer group of women that promotes inclusion and gender equality, as well as developing academic skills in kids. The event had an auction that included artwork, and Brown agreed to purchase a portrait of himself before befriending the artist who created it.
Brown invited the artist to come to his home to create another painting of him, according to the report, arranging for transportation from New York to western Pennsylvania. The artist told SI she was thrilled by Brown’s willingness to share her work on social media, but on her second day in Pennsylvania, things changed.
According to the report, which did not include the artist’s name, she “was in a kneeling position while painting and turned to find Brown behind her, naked, holding a small hand towel over his genitals.” The artist said she didn’t stop painting and that “after that, it all ended abruptly.”
Brown paid her $2,000 for the mural, according to SI, and didn’t contact the artist thereafter.
The artist is not pursuing charges or remuneration, according to SI.
After SI published its story Monday, Brown’s attorney, Darren Heitner, tweeted that his client denied he ever acted inappropriately.
Heitner told SI he had not advised Brown to communicate with the woman, but otherwise declined comment when reached Thursday.
Messages sent by SI to Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, were not immediately returned Thursday, according to the report.
The woman’s allegations are separate from those of Britney Taylor, Brown’s former trainer who filed a civil suit in Florida earlier this month. In the lawsuit, she alleged that Brown — in three separate incidents, two in June 2017 and another in May 2018 — sexually assaulted her.
NFL investigators met with Taylor on Monday, and a source previously told ESPN that there are “more interviews and information gathering being conducted now beyond Taylor.” It remains unclear when or if Brown will interview with the league.
The receiver, who was signed by the Patriots on Sept. 9 — before Taylor’s lawsuit was filed — and made his season debut Sunday against the Dolphins, spoke publicly Thursday for the first time since the allegations came out. In the brief media session, Brown was not directly asked a question about his reaction to Taylor’s lawsuit and deflected a question on whether he has heard from the NFL about being able to play throughout the 2019 season.