Yasiel Puig Denies Sexually Assaulting Woman in 2018 in Statement

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIApril 13, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: Yasiel Puig #66 of the Cleveland Indians returns to the dugout after fielding during the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

MLB free-agent outfielder Yasiel Puig released a statement along with his legal representation (Werksman, Jackson & Quinn LLP) denying the 30-year-old sexually assaulted a woman in a Staples Center bathroom after a Los Angeles Lakers game on Oct. 31, 2018.

Yasiel Puig @YasielPuig

I released a statement along with my attorneys today. I am encouraging you all to please read. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/agTMeQ3Onz

"I am speaking out now to defend my name against false and malicious accusations by a woman who claims I assaulted her in 2018. Let me be clear and set the record straight once and for all: These allegations are totally false, the evidence proves they are false, and I look forward to all the facts and the truth coming out."

He added:

"The fact is that I had consensual sex with a woman I met at a Lakers game after she propositioned me. Afterward, we talked about going out together, but she said she did not want her fiancee to find out. We messaged each other afterward and planned to get together again, but we never did. She's now suing me based on completely made-up allegations."

The statement says that Puig saved social media and text messages from the woman that "contradict her claims" and prove that she "initiated contact."

John Barr of ESPN reported in March that the woman's civil lawsuit against Puig came to light in October 2020. The case has not been filed in criminal court at this time.

Barr also spoke with the woman and summarized her claims, part of which can be read below:

"After the game, Jane went to the bathroom, where she said Puig followed her and physically restrained her by pinning her with his forearm. The lawsuit states that Puig attempted to take her clothes off, groped her, exposed himself and then masturbated in front of her.
"Later that same evening, Puig sent Jane a text message that read: 'Private between me and me [sic] everything that happens no one has to know,' according to a transcript of text messages that appears in court documents. It was the first of several texts Puig sent over the following days in an attempt to meet Jane privately, she said."

Major League Baseball spoke with the woman, per Barr. However, the woman's attorney, Taylor Rayfield, said MLB told her that the league couldn't investigate further unless the woman provided her name.

Rayfield also told Barr that MLB gave the woman "resources available to victims of sexual assault."

"They claim to have a personal conduct policy. Well, what could possibly violate that more than what happened here?" Rayfield said to Barr.

"I would like to see them take action against players and hold them accountable and not allow people to be a part of their organizations that are sexual and physical abusers."

Puig played in the majors from 2013 to 2019, with his first six seasons occurring with the Los Angeles Dodgers.