Antonio Brown settles dispute with ex-trainer thumbnail

Antonio Brown settles dispute with ex-trainer

Antonio Brown has resolved a civil dispute with former trainer Britney Taylor, who in a 2019 lawsuit had accused the wide receiver of sexually assaulting her.

A settlement was reached, but per the agreement, no terms can be disclosed, a source told ESPN’s Jenna Laine.

“Antonio and Britney have been friends for over a decade. Several years ago they almost became business partners. Recently, they were involved in aggressive litigation. Having reflected on their relationship, both feel that the time has come to move on. Antonio is grateful for Britney’s excellent training assistance. They are pleased that Antonio is doing so well with the Bucs and has a ring. Their dispute is resolved and they wish each other great continued success,” Taylor’s attorney, David Haas, said in a statement.

Brown is currently a free agent after playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season. General manager Jason Licht said Wednesday that the Buccaneers will continue to discuss a possible return for Brown.

“We’ve had discussions throughout the offseason and you can tell we’ve put an emphasis on bringing back our players from last year that contributed to our success, and he’d be no different, so we’ll continue to have talks and see where it goes,” Licht said.

Licht noted that the Buccaneers signed Brown last year when his dispute with Taylor was ongoing so the resolution “wasn’t necessarily the deciding factor of whether or not we’re gonna continue to talk.”

In her lawsuit, Taylor said that Brown sexually assaulted her on three occasions in 2017 and 2018. Before that suit’s filing, Brown and Taylor had entered into settlement talks, with sources telling ESPN’s Jeff Darlington in 2019 that Brown declined to sign a $2 million-plus agreement.

Brown countersued Taylor in 2019 for defamation and interference with his NFL contracts and endorsements.

Brown and Taylor knew each other at Central Michigan before Brown entered the NFL draft in 2010, and the documents state the two had cursory communication from then until 2017.

According to Taylor’s lawsuit, she and Brown met in a Bible study group at the school and became friends, then fell out of touch for several years before reconnecting in June 2017, with Brown hiring Taylor, who was a gymnast at Central Michigan, to assist in his physical training.

The New England Patriots released Brown in 2019 after the lawsuit was filed. Brown had joined New England after being released by the Raiders earlier that year but played just one game for the Patriots.

The NFL investigated the allegations and suspended Brown for the first eight games of the 2020 season for multiple violations of the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

He signed with the Buccaneers last season just before their Week 9 game against the New Orleans Saints. Brown, 32, led the Bucs in receiving targets over the final five weeks of the regular season and did not record a single drop in 2020. He also caught a touchdown pass from Tom Brady in the Buccaneers’ Super Bowl LV victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Brown spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers and was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time first-team All-Pro.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler contributed to this report.