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TMZ: Antonio Brown's Threatening Text Messages Being Investigated by NFL

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2019

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Antonio Brown #17 of the New England Patriots looks on prior to the game between the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The NFL is investigating threatening text messages allegedly sent by New England Patriots receiver Antonio Brown to an unnamed female artist after she accused him of sexual misconduct, according to TMZ.

The woman told Sports Illustrated's Robert Klemko on Thursday she "received a group text message that appeared to come from the same phone number Brown provided to her in 2017" when commissioning her to paint a mural of him.

Robert Klemko @RobertKlemko

New tonight: Antonio Brown sent our source from Monday’s story menacing group text messages, including a picture of her children with instructions for his associates to investigate her. Her lawyer wrote the NFL calling for the intimidation to stop. https://t.co/rCTM8WSI6Z https://t.co/QtONzBf7Ig

The texts included "photos of her and her children," and she believes Brown is "encouraging others in the [text] group to investigate [her]."

Lisa J. Banks, the artist's lawyer, responded to the texts by contacting the NFL, saying Brown had been "intimidating and threatening to our client, in violation of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy."

The lawyer wrote in a message to the league, per Klemko:

"Our client...is understandably frightened by these text messages, which are clearly intended to threaten and intimidate her. 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."

A civil lawsuit was filed against Brown on Sep. 10 by his former trainer, Britney Taylor. The lawsuit alleges Brown sexually assaulted Taylor on three separate occasions, with Taylor saying Brown "forcibly raped" her in May 2018.

It wasn't until Monday that the second woman's allegations surfaced.

On Monday, Klemko reported the artist had been hired to paint the mural inside Brown's Pennsylvania home. During her second day on the job, she said that Brown "walked up to me butt-ass naked, with a hand cloth covering his [penis] and starts having a conversation with me."

The woman is not pursuing charges against Brown but said she was "bothered by his behavior."

Brown started the offseason by forcing his way out of Pittsburgh, resulting in a trade to the Oakland Raiders. After an offseason filled with stories of frostbitten feethelmet drama and a confrontation with general manager Mike Mayock, he ultimately earned a release from the Raiders on Sept. 7, leading him to sign with New England on Sept. 9.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick acknowledged Friday that the team is doing its due diligence into the latest developments.

"There are some things we're looking into," Belichick said, per Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.

When asked if he expects the seven-time Pro Bowler to be available for Sunday's game against the New York Jets, Belichick responded, "He's on our roster."

New England Patriots @Patriots

Bill Belichick Live Press Conference 9/20: https://t.co/hXlErSaCa5

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the NFL previously declined to place Brown on the commissioner's exempt list in the aftermath of Taylor's civil lawsuit because of the lack of criminal investigation, allowing the receiver to suit up for New England in Week 2.