Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston has issued a statement denying the allegations made against him by a former Uber driver:
“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.”
Meanwhile, the Buccaneers have also released a statement regarding the matter:
“We are in the process of obtaining further information regarding today’s media report. We take these matters seriously and are fully supportive of the investigation that is being conducted by the NFL.”
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The NFL’s special counsel for investigations, Lisa Friel, issued the following letter to the Uber driver on Thursday.
“The League has been informed that you may have been the victim of such a violation perpetrated by Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Jameis Winston. The league takes allegations of this nature very seriously and has opened an investigation into this matter.”
According to Ansari, the female Uber driver, stopped outside of a party in downtown Scottsdale, Arizona to pick up a passenger around 2 a.m. on Sunday March 13, 2016.
The woman said that Winston “behaved poorly” by shouting homophobic slurs at pedestrians and later “reached over and he just grabbed my crotch” while they were waiting in line at a drive-thru.
“I wasn’t just creeped out,” said the woman. “I was frozen.”
“I mean he’s an NFL quarterback and I’m 5 ft 6. I’m not prepared for that. So I completely froze,” she said.
“I have been empowered by my sisters who have forged this path by speaking up, and I must do my part to make it a little more well traveled,” she said. “If I’m silent, I fear that further harm will come to other women, if it hasn’t already.”
She added, “He sexually assaulted me, and I have every right to tell the damn truth about it.”
The woman later filed an incident report to Uber describing in detail what had occurred.
Winston’s representative, Russ Spielman, issued the following statement denying the allegations:
“We categorically deny this allegation. It is our understanding the uber driver was unable to identify the specific individual who allegedly touched this driver inappropriately. The only reason his name is being dragged in to this is that his uber account was used to call the ride.”
Winston previously settled a civil lawsuit with a woman who accused him of rape back in 2012 while he was playing for Florida State.
Winston, 23, is a former first-round pick of the Buccaneers back in 2015. He’s currently in the third year of his four-year, $25.35 million contract and stands to make base salaries of $615,000 and $705,000 over the next two years of the agreement.
In 2017, Winston has appeared in eight games and thrown for 1,920 yards while completing 61.4 percent of his passes to go along with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. He has also rushed for 51 yards. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 15 quarterback out of 34 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding Winston as the news is available.