Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston allegedly groped a female Uber driver in March of 2016. This accusation, which has not yet been verified, was first reported Friday on BuzzFeed.
Kate, an Uber driver, remarked that she was working as a driver for a little over two years when she picked up Winston at 2 am. Winston was reportedly the only passenger and his friends put him in the front seat.
The Huffington Post reports that he immediately began behaving inappropriately and shouted slurs at people walking on the sidewalk. Winston then asked Kate if she would stop for food at a nearby Los Betos restaurant. While waiting in the drive-thru line, Kate said that Winston reached over to her side of the car and touched her inappropriately. He did this for several seconds until she looked up at him and asked, "What's up with that?"
According to Kate, she completely froze. She claims that the scariest part of the entire ordeal was the vast difference in size between the two. On the one hand, Winston was an NFL quarterback and was consequently very large in size. On the other hand, she was a 5-foot-6 woman and was not prepared for such an abrasive encounter.
Consequently, Kate filed a complaint with the company immediately after the incident occurred. Uber responded to the allegations, claiming that the behavior reported was wrong. Winston was removed from the app as a result of the alleged actions that he had taken.
Winston denies that the situation occurred, claiming that the allegations against him are "false." He claims that the driver doesn't properly remember the number of people in the car and that the incident never occurred. He also claims that when he first heard of her complaint from Uber he denied the charges then as well.
According to Winston, he is very supportive of the national movement to increase awareness of sexual harassment and assault, but then quickly adds that the particular accusations against him are nothing but false.
According to Winston's representative, "We categorically deny this allegation. It is our understanding the uber driver was unable to identify the specific individual who allegedly touched this driver inappropriately. The only reason his name is being dragged into this is that his uber account was used to call the ride."
In the past, Winston has been accused of other forms of sexual misconduct, particularly with raping a fellow student in 2012 when he was still playing college football at Florida State University. The university paid the woman almost one million dollars in January 2016 as a settlement for a lawsuit she filed.
Uber driver Kate claims that he felt it necessary to come forward in order to prevent this from happening to other women. She remarked that she felt empowered by other women who have had the courage to speak up.
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