A woman Uber driver has filed a lawsuit against NFL star quarterback Jameis Winston for sexually assaulting her while she was driving him two years ago.
Last year the woman, identified as “Kate,” came forward with her story. Since then, Winston has been placed on suspension from the NFL, but only for three games. Kate filing the lawsuit comes shortly before Winston is slated to return as quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 25.
According to the lawsuit, Winston was Kate’s passenger in Scottsdale, Arizona, shortly before 2am one night in March of 2016. As he approached the car, one of the men with him allegedly said, “She is hot. You should sit in the front seat, Jameis.” One of the men also reportedly told her, “Make sure you take real good care of him.”
Winston allegedly behaved belligerently throughout the ride, shouting obscenities, including homophobic slurs, at people from the window. He asked Kate to take a detour through a drive-thru, where, according to the lawsuit, he “placed his fingers between her legs and pressed them firmly against her vagina over her yoga pants.” The lawsuit calls Winston’s assault the, “entitled actions of a professional football player.”
Originally Kate only reported the assault to Uber, which banned Winston from the platform. Uber also told her she should report Winston to law enforcement, but she didn’t due to fear of backlash from football fans.
In November 2017, the strength of the #MeToo movement inspired Kate to come forward and tell her story to BuzzFeed. At the time, Winston denied the allegations, saying Kate was “confused as to the number of passengers in the car and who was sitting next to her.” An NFL investigation resulted in a three-game suspension, and he is still barred from using Uber. Kate bringing the lawsuit forward is the latest move for real accountability, rather than a short break from playing football.
H/T BuzzFeed News