Just before sexual assault allegations against football player Antonio Brown became public on Tuesday, his new New England Patriots teammate Tom Brady publicly offered the embattled athlete room and board.
Brown, 31, is accused of raping his former trainer, a gymnast who identifies herself as Britney Taylor, in May 2018, according to a federal civil lawsuit filed on Tuesday and obtained by The New York Times. Taylor additionally accused Brown of sexual assaulting her in June 2017.
The athlete has denied the allegations through his attorney.
Ahead of the news, Brown was released from the Oakland Raiders over the weekend, then quickly signed with the New England Patriots, which is giving the athlete a one-year contract worth up to $15 million, Brown’s agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed to ESPN.
On Sunday, NBC Sports reporter Al Michaels claimed Rosenhaus told him that “Brady told Brown to ‘Come move in with me until you get settled into New England.’ “
And in a Monday interview, Brady was asked point-blank if he had extended the offer.
“You know, I have asked a lot of guys over the years to stay at my house,” Brady said to Westwood One Sports. “Some have taken me up on it and others haven’t. I just want this transition for him to be really smooth. It’s been a lot of travel to go from the West Coast to the East Coast. And again, learning the playbook. I just want him to be comfortable. Whatever’s up to him, I’m totally cool with.”
Also in a Monday interview with WEEI, Brady said of Michaels’ comments, “I think there’s a lot of things said on TV. I didn’t say that to anyone publicly.”
Reps for Brady declined to comment further, but a source tells PEOPLE that the invite would have been “all about the team.”
“Everything is framed by the team and winning and that’s how they operate,” the source explains, further noting that Brady and wife Gisele Bündchen used to “have a welcome to Boston BBQ at the beginning of the season” for new Patriots.
In response to the allegations this week, the Patriots said in a statement provided to PEOPLE, “We are aware of the civil lawsuit that was filed earlier today against Antonio Brown, as well as the response by Antonio’s representatives. We take these allegations very seriously. Under no circumstance does this organization condone sexual violence or assault. The league has informed us that they will be investigating. We will have no further comment while that investigation takes place.”
Brown’s attorney Darren Heitner released a statement denying “each and every allegation” made against the athlete, stating, “He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations.”
Heitner went on to claim that Taylor approached Brown in 2017 after he signed a contract, “making him the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL.”
Heitner claims Taylor asked Brown to invest $1.6 million dollars in a business project she was working on. When he refused, Heitner explained that’s when the two cut ties.
They reconnected again in 2018 when Taylor offered to train Brown for the upcoming NFL season, Heitner said in the statement.
“Thereafter, the accuser engaged Mr. Brown in a consensual personal relationship,” Heitner claims. “Any sexual interaction with Mr. Brown was entirely consensual.”