Uber Driver Sues NFL QB Winston Over Alleged Groping Incident

(CN) – A female Uber driver in Arizona claims in court that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston sexually assaulted her after she showed up at a nightclub to give him a ride in 2016.

Attorneys for the driver, identified as “Kate P.,” filed a lawsuit in Arizona federal court on Tuesday.

According to the complaint, the Uber driver picked up Winston from a nightclub in the early morning hours of March 13, 2016. Winston sat in the front seat, the complaint states. The driver alleges Winston yelled obscenities at other club goers from the car and then demanded she take him to get a burrito.

In the drive-through of Los Betos, a fast food Mexican restaurant, Winston placed his fingers between the driver’s legs and against her vagina, the driver claims. She looked at Winston and asked, “What’s up with that?” and he withdrew his hand, she says.

The driver, who says she was “frightened” by the incident, took Winston to his hotel without incident. He left the vehicle “leaving his fast food trash behind as well,” the complaint states.

The driver reported the incident to Uber the next day, which investigated the incident and banned Winston from the service.

Last year, during the height of the #MeToo movement, the woman contacted a reporter with Buzzfeed about the incident and the story made national news.

Winston initially denied the allegations. Friends with him at the Arizona club backed up his story and said they were in the car, too.

However, an investigation by the NFL earlier this year concluded there were no other people in the Uber. The league found Winston responsible for violating the league’s personal conduct policy by touching the driver “in an inappropriate and sexual manner without her consent.”

Winston, the first overall pick in the 2015 draft, was suspended for the first three games of this year’s football season. In a statement released after the suspension, Winston apologized to the Uber driver for “the position I put you in.”

“It is uncharacteristic of me and I genuinely apologize,” he said in the statement.

The Uber driver is represented by Phoenix attorney Sarah Powell and John C. Clune of Hutchinson Black and Cook in Boulder, Colorado.

The woman seeks punitive damages of more than $75,000 for sexual battery.

“Plaintiff brings this action as much to underscore to defendant the seriousness of his behavior as to receive compensation for damages,” the complaint states.

Winston’s agent, Denise White of EAG Sports Management, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Buccaneers organization also did not respond.

This isn’t the first lawsuit filed against Winston over sexual battery. In 2015, Florida State University student Erica Kinsman sued the star quarterback for allegedly raping her. (Clune, the Uber driver’s attorney, also represented Kinsman.)

Winston was never charged in the incident. He followed up with a defamation lawsuit. The two later settled – nine months after the Uber incident in Arizona.

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