Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston is facing a three-game suspension for violating the NFL’s perosnal conduct policy by allegedly sexually abusing an Uber driver in Arizona in 2016.
According to an ESPN report, new details have emerged that contradict Winston’s version of events on that night. The fourth-year player initially told the league that a female Uber driver was mistaken when she accused him of reaching over and grabbing her crotch while waiting at a drive-thru at a Mexican restaurant around 2 a.m. on March 13, 2016. She also said Winston was the only passenger in the vehicle. Winston denied the allegation and said he and former Florida State teammate and Philadelphia Eagles running back Ronald Darby was in the backseat with him and unnamed third person was in the front seat, an account which Darby corroborated.
But a friend of Winston’s who was with him that night, former Vanderbilt University football player Brandon Banks, said through his attorney, Mark Scruggs, that he was with Winston and Darby at a Scottsdale nigtclub that night. Banks said when Winston became intoxicated and “unruly,” they sent him away in an Uber by himself. “What happened after that,” Scruggs said, “they cannot say.”
The female Uber driver, who has only been identified as “Kate” says she never filed a police report and only went public with the allegation last fall when she told Buzz Feed in November of 2017 that she wanted to expose “a powerful man who felt entitled to my body when all I wanted to do is my job.” She said that a group of men placed Winston alone in the front passenger seat of her car around 2 a.m. on March 13, 2016 and that after leaving the nightclub, she drove to a fast-food restaurant at Winston’s request. While in the drive-thru lane, she said, Winston reached over and grabbed her crotch, holding his hand there for three to five seconds until she verbally rejected his advances.
Winston denied the allegation, issuing a statement that “the driver was confused as to the number of passengers in the car and who was sitting next to her.” Winston reportedly has yet to be disciplined by the NFL for the incident.