Antonio Brown’s lawyer: “There is not an open season to extort professional athletes”

Mike Florio

Antonio Brown and Britney Taylor have filed competing legal documents. Their lawyers have filed competing press releases.

On Wednesday night, Taylor’s lawyer said his client won’t be bullied by Brown’s counterclaim. On Thursday, Brown’s lawyer expressed a desire to fight back against the extortion of athletes, generally.

“Antonio Brown has filed his answer, affirmative defenses, motion to strike, motion for more definite statement and counterclaims in Broward County Florida Circuit Court,” attorney Camille E. Blanton said in an all-caps statement issued on her firm’s letter head. “Mr. Brown’s filing is his initial response to the lawsuit filed by Britney Taylor on October 8, 2019. Mr. Brown anticipates that discovery in this case will uncover additional facts and information that will potential expand the scope of his counterclaims.

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“In his pleading, Mr. Brown categorically denies each and every allegation contained in the Taylor complaint. Additionally, Mr. Brown provided numerous significant facts that were omitted from Taylor’s complaint, including Taylor’s communucation to Brown revealing that Taylor was open to a romantic relationship with Brown, Taylor’s travel from Memphis to South Florida twelve days after the alleged 2018 sexual assault, Taylor’s arrival at Mr. Brown’s residence at 2:42 a.m. on the morning of her 2018 return South Florida trip, Taylor’s continued communications with Mr. Brown after the alleged rape, including a copious amount of text message (SMS) exchanges with Mr. Brown in the hours after Taylor’s engagement on May 28, 2018.

“Mr. Brown is committed to his continued aggressive response to Taylor’s false allegations. 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.”

The statement, frankly, doesn’t state anything new. Instead, it attempts to focus media attention on specific alleged facts from Brown’s filing that counter specific alleged facts from Taylor’s filing, with the focal point being Brown’s contention that Taylor continued to communicate with Brown after the alleged rape, which would support an argument that the alleged rape didn’t happen because if it did she wouldn’t have continued to talk to him. (No text messages were attached to Brown’s filing; obviously, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.)

Like every civil lawsuit involving sharply conflicting versions of the facts, this lawsuit will be resolved eventually at a trial, if not settled before that. For Brown, the far bigger question is whether and to what extent the version of events that he shared with the NFL and the version of events that Taylor shared with the NFL will persuade the NFL that Brown is telling the truth or that Taylor is telling the truth. There is no middle ground, and the NFL will be making its decision months if not years before a Florida trial court does.

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