In a 35-page motion requesting court sanctions this week, an opposing attorney in a property damage lawsuit against Antonio Brown accused the star NFL wideout of “tumultuous tirades”, “defiant rants” and “profane language” that the lawyer claims derailed the taking of a deposition in the case in late September.
The allegations were detailed in a motion filed by the opposing attorney this week, in the midst of a civil lawsuit against Brown for allegedly causing nearly $100,000 in damages to a luxury high-rise condo rental that Brown inhabited into early 2018. After eight months of legal jabbing between Brown and the owner of the unit, the wideout finally sat for a court-ordered deposition on Sept. 24. According to the opposing attorney, Brown wrecked the proceedings with a litany of “reprehensible behavior”. The lawyer now wants the judge in the case to order a new deposition, with the inclusion of a court-appointed special master who would oversee the proceedings and hold Brown accountable for any actions taken during the session.
Brown’s attorney, Darren Heitner, told Yahoo Sports that a legal response to the allegations and motion was in the process of being prepared for submission to the court as early as Thursday.
Among the incidents highlighted in the motion — which opposing lawyer George Minksi claims “warrants the imposition of monetary sanctions” and more — Brown is alleged to have:
Arrived nearly 30 minutes late to the deposition.
Acted “belligerent and pugnacious, refusing to answer the most routine of questions, despite there being no objection to the questioning coming from his counsel.”
“[C]hanted, over and over, as if a mantra, a narrative of his own warped concept of the proceeding.”
“Acting as if he was above the rule of law, [Brown] proceeded to make a mockery of the deposition process. [Brown’s] antics were so unreasonable that barely twenty  minutes into the deposition, his counsel asked for a break [so] he could speak with [Brown] about his demeanor.”
“When the deposition resumed, [Brown] began texting on his cell phone. Regardless of multiple requests from his own counsel, and from the undersigned, [Brown] continued texting.”
“After approximately 20-30 minutes, [Brown] required another break. When the deposition resumed [Brown] increased his level of obstructive behavior. At one point, [Brown] refused to answer any questions, instead saying ‘next question’ no less than 10 times.”
“Soon thereafter, [Brown] started announcing a countdown, starting at ‘five  minutes,’ and counting down the minutes thereafter. Before noon [Brown] left the conference room.”
According to the allegations in the motion, Brown’s lawyer waited a few minutes and then left the proceedings, then returned and announced that Brown had left and “volunteered, to the effect, that Plaintiff’s counsel could now file its motion for sanctions.”
To back up the claims made in the motion, the opposing attorney said the recording of the deposition would be filed into record so “the Court may actually see [Brown’s] shenanigans.” A hearing is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 8 to hash out a motion by Brown’s attorneys to either quash the deposition and/or grant a protective order for the video and materials produced in the one that took place on Sept. 24. That would likely help to keep the video from public view, including any media or NFL teams that might still be considering signing Brown in the future.
The opposing counsel asked that a number of sanctions be considered in relation to the September deposition, including a default judgement in the case, awarding of opposing attorney’s fees, and/or the cost of including a special master to oversee the proceedings if another deposition is warranted in the case.
The deposition has no bearing on the civil suit filed against Brown by his former trainer, Britney Taylor, who is alleging that the wideout committed acts of sexual assault and rape against her in three incidents in 2017 and 2018. Brown’s behavior in this deposition might be germane to the preparation of Taylor’s attorneys, who will seek a deposition of him in the process of that civil case. NFL investigators are also expecting to sit down with Brown as part of their probe into allegations brought by Taylor and a second woman, who was identified in a Sports Illustrated story where she alleged sexual misconduct by Brown while she painted a mural in his home.
As far as his NFL career stands, Brown is currently a free agent and is in the process of preparing nine grievances against the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders, in hopes of recouping $61 million in lost salary and guarantees.
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