Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is currently serving out the end of a three-game suspension set by the NFL for groping an Uber driver. The league’s investigation over the offseason concluded that Winston had “violated the Personal Conduct Policy by touching the driver in an inappropriate and sexual manner without her consent.” Winston has denied the allegations, but apologized to the driver in July for “the position he put her in” and called the situation “a learning experience.”
On Tuesday, Winston was sued by the driver—identified only as “Kate P.”—for sexual assault. She requested “exemplary or punitive damages.” The lawsuit, filed in Arizona federal court, tells a story similar to the one that was reported by Buzzfeed in November 2017.
Early in the morning on March 13, 2016, according to the lawsuit, Kate accepted an Uber request from a “Jameis W” to drive from a club in Scottsdale to a hotel in Phoenix. As Kate pulled up, the suit says one of the men Winston was with said, “She is hot. You should sit in the front seat, Jameis.” Winston did just that, and Kate drove away with him as the only passenger. According to the lawsuit, Winston didn’t appear to be especially drunk, but he did seem angry and hungry:
Immediately upon pulling out of the parking lot of the International Club, Defendant Winston became belligerent with some male pedestrians that were near the same club-screaming and swearing obscenities and racial epithets out the window. It did not appear as though Mr. Winston knew these people and Plaintiff became concerned that a fight was going to break out and that her vehicle may be damaged as a result. Plaintiff rolled up the vehicle windows which temporarily interrupted the hostility enough for the vehicle to pull away.
After driving another block, Defendant Winston demanded, “I want a burrito.” Plaintiff asked him where he wanted her to take him and he responded, “I don’t care I just want a burrito.”
Kate drove to a drive-through, and while there, her lawsuit says, Winston sexually assaulted her:
While waiting for the food to arrive and without any warning, Defendant Winston leaned toward Plaintiff and placed his fingers between her legs and pressed them firmly against her vagina over her yoga pants.
Concerned about Defendant Winston’s earlier hostility, Plaintiff was very worried about reacting in a manner that could incite Defendant Winston again. Plaintiff looked at Defendant and then back down at his hand and asked, “What’s up with that?” Defendant Winston then withdrew his hand.
The lawsuit says that Kate didn’t talk to Winston for the rest of the ride, and they made it to the hotel without anything else happening. Kate then texted her boyfriend, saying, among other things, “I just got semi molested by the Tampa Bay Buc QB.” The suit goes on to note that, following an investigation, Uber banned Winston from its service, and that Kate, despite initially not wanting the negative attention, eventually decided to come forward with her story in the aftermath of #MeToo.
Kate’s attorney, John Clune, is the same lawyer who represented Erica Kinsman in her own sexual assault lawsuit against Winston, which the two settled in 2016. Winston will serve the final game of his three-game suspension during the Bucs’ game against the Steelers on Monday.
The full lawsuit is embedded below: