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Monday, October 21, 2019

Report: NFL investigating Antonio Brown’s harassing text messages to second accuser

Antonio Brown

The NFL is investigating harassing text messages allegedly sent by Antonio Brown to the second woman who accused the wide receiver of sexual misconduct.

On Monday, Sports Illustrated published a lengthy story containing many allegations of improper behavior by Brown, including incidents for which he has been sued. The story notably contained allegations from a female artist who says she was hired by Brown to paint a mural in his home. Brown met the woman when he won an auction bidding on a painting of hers at a charity softball game for the National Youth Foundation in June 2017. The receiver later hired her to paint a mural in his home.

The woman claims Brown became inappropriate during her second day of painting at his home when he approached her while nude, with nothing but a small towel covering his genitals. She says after she did not respond to his flirtations, the attitude of Brown and his team towards her changed and became chilly. She never finished the painting and was not contacted by Brown again.

In a statement from his attorney shared on Monday, Brown denied the woman’s allegations.

But the story does not end there.

SI’s Robert Klemko, who wrote the original story on Brown, shared screenshots of text messages the woman allegedly received from Brown on Wednesday night, two days after her allegations were published. In his text messages, which were sent to a group of five people, Brown accused the woman of making stuff up for money and directed his people to investigate her.

Klemko says the text messages came from the same number Brown provided to the artist in a 2017 Instagram direct message. Brown included his lawyer on the text messages. Brown’s attorney told Klemko he did not advise Brown to communicate with the woman and otherwise declined comment.

The artist’s lawyer, Lisa J. Banks, contacted the NFL about the harassing messages and asked for the league and New England Patriots to step in and end Brown’s behavior.

The attorney called the messages “intimidating and threatening to our client, in violation of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy.”

“Our client … is understandably frightened by these text messages, which are clearly intended to threaten and intimidate her,” the lawyer wrote. “While she certainly qualifies as a ‘starving artist,’ she has never approached Mr. Brown, nor will she, about seeking money to compensate her for his sexual misconduct, contrary to his allegations in the text messages.”

The NFL quickly responded to the lawyer’s letter and set up a phone call between investigators and the artist’s attorney.

SI reached out to the phone number that they believe belonged to Brown, asking about the allegations. “foh clown” was the response they received. “FOH” is an acronym for “get the f— out of here.”

Brown, who made his Patriots debut on Sunday, was first sued by his former trainer, Britney Taylor, who accused him of sexually assaulting her three times between 2017 and 2018. Brown denied the allegations and accused her of making a money grab.

The NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy prohibits: “Stalking, harassment, or similar forms of intimidation.”

The league could view these messages as harassment/intimidation and move to discipline the wide receiver for a violation of the policy, which would jeopardize his playing status.



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