In an already packed two months filled with sexual assault and rape allegations against celebrities such as Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, add another name to the list. Details have come to light about an encounter between Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston and an Uber driver back in 2016.
In an interview with BuzzFeed, the driver, Kate, claims that “he reached over and he just grabbed my crotch.” The driver reported this incident with Uber, and as a result, suspended Winston's account.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Winston writes,
"A news organization has published a story about me regarding an alleged incident involving a female Uber driver from approximately two years ago. The story falsely accuses me of making inappropriate contact with this driver. I believe the driver was confused as to the number of passengers in the car and who was sitting next to her. The accusation is false, and given the nature of the allegation and increased awareness and consideration of these types of matters, I am addressing this false report immediately. At the time of the alleged incident, I denied the allegations to Uber, yet they still decided to suspend my account.
I am supportive of the national movement to raise awareness and develop better responses to the concerns of parties who find themselves in these types of situations, but this accusation is false. While I am certain that I did not make any inappropriate contact, I don’t want to engage in a battle with the driver and I regret if my demeanor or presence made her uncomfortable in any way."
This hasn't been the first time Winston faced legal trouble. Winston was accused of sexually assaulting a Florida State student in 2012. Both parties settled the case out of court.
It's remarkable the number of sexual assault allegations that have come to light in recent weeks. It's disheartening for public figures that children look up to as role models to abuse their status.
It will be interesting to see how the NFL plans to handle this case, as commissioner Roger Goodell is notorious for botching supplemental discipline for off-the-field misconduct allegations against the League's players, most notably former Ravens running back Ray Rice.