A woman who has accused Antonio Brown of sexual misconduct says the New England Patriots receiver sent her what she considers to be intimidating text messages after her allegations appeared in a Sports Illustrated story earlier this week.
The texts, which were sent Wednesday night, accused the woman — who has been identified as being an artist but not by name — of fabricating the story for financial gain, included a photo of the woman’s three young children and encouraged some associates, who were also included in the group messages, to look into her background.
The next day, the artist’s attorney, Lisa J. Banks, sent a letter to the NFL asking it to help put an end to Brown’s alleged “intimidating and threatening” behavior, which she wrote was “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,” Banks 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 responded within an hour of receiving the letter and set up a phone call between investigators and the woman’s lawyers, according to a follow-up story Thursday from Sports Illustrated .
In SI’s initial story on the matter, the artist said Brown hired her in 2017 to paint a mural of him inside his Pittsburgh-area home. On her second day of work, she said, Brown appeared in front of her naked, using a hand cloth to cover his genitals. After she didn’t respond to that and other apparent advances by Brown, the artist said, he “ghosted” her and did not permit her to finish work on the mural, although he paid her for her work.
Brown denied the allegation Monday through his lawyer, Darren Heitner. The article was published less than a week after Brown was accused of rape and sexual assault in a civil suit filed by his former personal trainer. The NFL is investigating those allegations, which Brown also has denied.
Two days after the SI story was published, the artist said, she received the texts allegedly sent by Brown. SI published images of the text messages (warning: explicit language) and confirmed that they came from the same account Brown used to contact the artist in 2017.
“Really sad you would make up bull ... story to the world,” one text read. “thought u had more integrity n respect for yourself must be really hard times for [you] to make up some stuff for money super sad.”
Another text appears to instruct someone referred to as Eric B to “look up her background history [and] see how broke this girl is.” Someone else replied, “Yes sir we will do that.”
The person texting from Brown’s account also sent a photo of the woman’s children from her Instagram account and wrote, “Those her kids and ig Eric she’s awfully broke clearly.”
Another person on the group message said they would ask around about the artist and added, “She sounds like a celebrity groupie.”
Heitner was one of the people included in the group text but told SI he did not respond to the messages. He did not have any further comment.
The magazine also did not receive responses from Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, or the Patriots.
It did, however, get a reply to a text to the number purported to be Brown’s asking for a confirmation or denial on the intimidation accusation. The response included an acronym for an explicit way of saying “get out of here”: “foh clown.”