The personal trainer who has accused embattled NFL free agent Antonio Brown of rape and sexual assault has dropped her federal lawsuit and plans to refile in Florida for unspecified strategic purposes.
According to the attorney for Britney Taylor, who says Brown raped her and sexually assaulted her twice in 2017 and 2018, the reason for the decision is because her legal team has added another counsel.
‘Plaintiff states that no opposing party has served an answer or a motion for summary judgement, and that this claim has not been dismissed before for any reason,’ attorney David Haas wrote in the dismissal notice filed with the Southern Florida U.S. District Court.
In an email to the Daily Mail, Haas said the move was ‘simply a strategic decision,’ but declined to give any further explanation.
‘Unfortunately, I can’t comment on our strategy,’ Haas wrote in an email.
The original lawsuit, which was filed in federal court on September 10, listed New York-based attorney Jonathan S. Abady as one of Taylor’s representatives.
In the latest filing, which was made in a Florida court on Tuesday, Abady’s name had been replaced with local attorney Andrew Knopf, who has confirmed to the Daily Mail that he is now working on Taylor’s behalf.
The New York-based Abady did not immediately responded to the Daily Mail’s request for comment.
Knopf confirmed to the Daily Mail that he is certified to work in both federal and Florida courts.
Haas is also certified to work at the federal level and at the state level in Florida, according to his website.
Since Taylor’s filing in September, Brown has also been accused of sexual misconduct by another woman, who claims he hired her in 2017 to paint a mural in his home, where he disrobed and approached her while wearing only a hand towel over his genitals.
That accuser told her story to Sports Illustrated but has not sued Brown.
Brown has denied all sexual misconduct accusations, but the claims may have already cost him.
The 31-year-old former All-Pro was released by the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots within the last month and is engaged in a legal battle with both teams to recoup lost salary.
According to ESPN, Brown and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) will file nine grievances and appeals, which is the most ever by a single player at one time. Brown’s demands include $29 million in salary guarantees that were voided by the Raiders before he was released in Oakland on September 7.
Brown ultimately agreed to a one-year deal worth as much as $15 million with the Patriots hours later, but has since been released by the defending Super Bowl champions amidst accusations of sexual assault and rape.
He is also seeking his full $9 million salary bonus and $1 million in salary guarantees from the Patriots, among other demands.
Although Brown’s agent Drew Rosenhaus has acknowledged that he and Brown have been aware about the possibility of a lawsuit, the question of whether or not the Patriots were informed remains open.
In an interview with ESPN, Rosenhaus declined to say whether he discussed the potential for a lawsuit against his client when the two parties agreed to the deal on September 7. (Officially the deal was signed September 9)
The NFL Network reported that the Patriots would not have signed Brown had they known about the potential for a rape lawsuit.
In response to the Sports Illustrated report of the incident, Brown sent menacing text messages to the unidentified accuser and he was subsequently released by the Patriots on September 20.
The Patriots were Brown’s third team since March, when he was traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Raiders, who made him the highest-paid receiver in football with a three-year, $50 million deal.
Things went awry for Brown in training camp, where he missed time after injuring his feet in a cryotherapy machine before sitting out due to a dispute with the NFL over his helmet.
When the issue was finally resolved, Brown was fined by the team for missed practices, prompting a heated confrontation between him and general manager Mike Mayock.
Brown apologized to teammates the following day, but when the team consequently fined him for ‘conduct detrimental to the team,’ and voided $29 million in salary guarantees, he demanded his release.
The Raiders cut Brown on September 7 before he even played a single regular season game for the team, although he did make a preseason appearance for Oakland.
His tenure in New England was only slightly more productive. Brown caught four passes including a touchdown in the Patriots’ Week 2 win over the Miami Dolphins.
Following his release from New England on September 20, Brown tweeted that he was done with football because owners ‘can cancel deals’ and ‘do whatever they want at anytime.’
Rosenhaus, Brown’s agent, believes his client will be back in the NFL if and when the league clears him of any wrongdoing.
‘I believe that Antonio wants to continue his career in the NFL,’ Rosenhaus said on retired NFL veteran Warren Sapp’s podcast.
‘It’s my hope, it’s Antonio’s hope, that he’ll be back playing as soon as possible,’ Rosenhaus added.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Alex Raskin