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8:56 PM PT — The Patriots released a statement addressing the suit filed against AB, saying … "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."

5:53 PM PT — Brown's attorney, Darren Heitner, has issued a statement adamantly denying the allegations — and claiming she only filed the suit to punish him for refusing to invest $1.6 million in a "business project" back in 2017.

Brown admits there was a "consensual personal relationship" between the two — acknowledging the accuser came to his home on multiple occasions … including a late night visit just 10 days after the alleged 2018 rape. "Any sexual interaction with Mr. Brown was entirely consensual."

Brown also claims in Winter 2018 she hit up Brown to ask for tickets to a Steelers football game — and has continued to post pics with AB on her social media to benefit from the association with him.

Brown says he will "pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations."

Antonio Brown is being sued by a woman who claims the New England Patriots star WR sexually assaulted and raped her during 3 separate encounters … this according to a new lawsuit obtained by TMZ Sports.

The woman behind the lawsuit, who identifies herself as Britney Taylor, says she was hired by Brown as a personal trainer. Taylor claims the first incident happened in June 2017 during a training session when "Brown exposed himself and kissed [her] without her consent."

Taylor then describes a second alleged incident … "Later that month, Brown, while positioned behind her, began masturbating near her without her knowledge and ejaculated on her back."

Taylor claims the first incident occurred at Brown's home in Pittsburgh and the second incident occurred at Brown's home in Florida.

According to the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Florida, Taylor claims Brown bragged about the incident to her in "profane and angry text messages."

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Several months later, the accuser claims Brown reached out to her to express contrition and "begged forgiveness."

Taylor claims Brown begged her to continue training him — and after initial hesitation, she ultimately agreed.

However, the woman claims nearly a year later — on May 20, 2018 "Brown cornered [her] forced her down onto a bed, pushed her face into the mattress, and forcibly raped her."

The woman claims she tried to fight back but Brown was "too strong and physically overpowered her."

In the suit, the woman claims she screamed and cried throughout the entire incident — repeatedly shouting "no" and "stop."

Brown refused to stop, according to the suit, and penetrated her, the woman claims.

In her suit, Taylor describes herself as a "28-year-old world class gymnast" who competed at "elite levels of international competition."

In her suit, Taylor claims she met Antonio Brown while they were both student athletes at Central Michigan University where they participated in a Fellowship of Christian Athletes group.

In her suit, Taylor says she wants compensation for "physical injuries, pain and suffering, humiliation, embarrassment, stress and anxiety, loss of self-esteem and self-confidence, and emotional pain and suffering."

In fact, Taylor claims she was so traumatized from the alleged incidents she "had near-daily panic attacks, frequent suicidal ideations, and insomnia. She has also lost a remarkable amount of weight — 30 pounds in one month — due to stress."

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She also wants punitive damages — though she does not specify an amount.

Taylor has issued a statement through her attorney saying, "As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision."

"I have found strength in my faith, my family, and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault. Speaking out removes the shame that I have felt for the past year and places it on the person responsible for my rape."

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