In a recent piece, Sports Illustrated writer Robert Klemko took a deep look at Antonio Brown’s past. This comes in the wake of a lawsuit filed by Brown’s former trainer, Britney Taylor, accusing him of sexual assault and rape.
Brown made his Patriots debut over the weekend in Miami against the Dolphins, but the NFL is currently investigating the accusations made against him. The league reportedly met with Taylor on Tuesday for 10 hours.
According to Klemko, “more than two dozen people” were interviewed for the story.
Here’s a look at some of the major points that the piece covered:
Alleged sexual misconduct
In June 2017, Brown was at a charity auction when he noticed a portrait of himself that he liked. He bid $700 to win the auction, and invited the artist — who remained anonymous, but who Sports Illustrated described as “a woman in her late 20s” — to his Pittsburgh home to paint a mural of himself.
According to the artist, Brown agreed to pay her $1,000 a day for her work on the mural and provided transportation from New York City. Once she was there, she was initially excited that Brown was “interested in my work.”
Yet on the second day, she described Brown’s sexual misconduct:
I was about 40% done on the second day, and I’m on my knees painting the bottom, and he walks up to me butt-ass naked, with a hand cloth covering his [penis] and starts having a conversation with me. Unfortunately, I’ve been tried [by men] a lot of times, so I just kept my cool and kept painting. After that, it all ended abruptly.
Following the incident, the artists said that Brown left for Miami and she never got a chance to finish the mural. She also alleges that his assistants, who she had been in contact with, “ghosted” her. Brown did ultimately pay her $2,000 for her work.
However, Brown has allegedly not paid for his winning $700 bid to the National Youth Foundation for the portrait that originally drew his interest to the artist.
Other domestic disturbances
The police were called to Brown’s Pittsburgh home on three occasions in four years regarding domestic disturbance. Multiple calls involved Brown and his longtime girlfriend, Chelsie Kyriss.
In the calls, Brown was accused of:
- Throwing bottles of cologne and lotion at Kyriss, according to a police report. Kyriss was observed to have no injuries, and opted not to press charges out of “fear of it affecting Browns’s career.”
- Attempting to leave for California without giving Kyriss money to look out for their three children. Brown called police accusing Kyriss of trying to steal his credit card and a Range Rover. Brown offered to give her $500, but declined her requested amount ($1,000).
- Pushing Wiltrice Jackson — who Brown also had a child with — during a dispute over reimbursement for their daughter’s hair appointment. The fall caused a cut on Jackson’s forearm, but she opted to not press charges.
As was reported in 2018, Brown threw furniture out of the window of his 14th floor apartment in Florida in a fit of rage. A lawsuit was filed by the building landlord as well as the family of a 22-month-old boy who was almost hit by the falling furniture walking with his grandfather. The suit was settled for an undisclosed amount in 2019.
Accusations of bill dodging
One area of regular complaint regarding Brown was his alleged attempts to avoid paying for services.
As the article detailed in several examples citing specific people, Brown went to great lengths to get out of having to pay debts.
A case from May 2018, when Brown called police to report a missing safe — the contents of which were valued at over $2 million, — highlighted the usual storylines. Brown accused personal assistant Sam Williams of stealing the safe, claiming he was the only person with access to it.
Williams cooperated with police, passed a polygraph test, and helped establish that he wasn’t actually the only person with access to Brown’s home. As Williams told police, it was a method he’d seen Brown use in the past as a “breakup” ploy to avoid paying outstanding bills.
The article details other examples, including that of former gymnast and body builder, Dr. Victor Prisk. Prisk — who said Brown made many unfulfilled promises — that summarized Brown’s pattern of actions:
He tells you he’s going to make it totally worth your while. He’s gonna invest in your business, invest in you. You’re part of my family. Call God and all that. But he doesn’t do that, and he doesn’t even pay the bill.
Klemko wrote that there is a “small galaxy” of other people formerly in Brown’s life with similar stories.
Refusing to pay for a $38,521 party
Another incident that receives specific attention in the article is the time Brown hired chef Stefano Tedeschi (known in Florida as “Chef Stef”) for a private party.
According to Tedeschi, Brown told him, “I’m not worried about money. That’s not an issue, you know that.”
After a range of bizarre incidents — including a discussion with one of Brown’s assistants where Tedeschi said he was told to not look Brown in the eye — Tedeschi was left with a $38,521 bill. Brown’s reasoning, as Tedeschi described it, was because the receiver had found a leftover salmon head in the freezer and, “accused the chef of making a mafia-style threat against his life.”
Tedeschi filed a civil complaint, saying that he didn’t file a lawsuit because of the optics.
“You’re a chef suing a celebrity—that doesn’t look good on me,” Tedeschi told Klemko. “Other people are going to doubt me now because of this. I tried every olive branch. I offered to come down and cook for him for free in South Florida after I get paid. Nothing.”
Shedding some light on Brown’s past
The final section of Klemko’s piece includes a look at Brown’s upbringing in difficult circumstances. Brown’s father, arena football star Eddie Brown, wasn’t a part of his life. Then in high school, Brown was reportedly kicked out of his home by his stepfather, spending long periods of time sleeping on the couches of teammates.
When Brown arrived at Central Michigan for college, he brought only two grocery bags filled with his clothes. A former college teammate, Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour, offered a description of Brown’s demeanor.
“He always had a smile on his face, that infectious smile that you see on TV,” LeFevour told Klemko. “But once in a while he’d get upset. He had that edge to him as well, and you saw it in the first couple days. You could tell he’d been through a lot, and there was a lot of frustration in his past, like he was holding something in that manifested himself in a certain way, but also made him a great competitor too.”