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NFL Player Jameis Winston Reaches Settlement With Uber Driver Who Filed Groping Lawsuit

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback was accused of grabbing a female Uber driver’s crotch in 2016.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

NFL star Jameis Winston and the Uber driver who accused him of groping her in 2016 have reached a settlement in the case.

An Arizona woman known only as “Kate P.” filed a lawsuit seeking upwards of $75,000 in damages from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback in September, following allegations that he touched her inappropriately while the two were both waiting in a drive-thru line in 2016.

Both parties “reached an agreement,” according to a joint notice of settlement filed Monday in federal court, according to documents cited by the Tampa Bay Times.

The details of the proposed settlement have not yet been made publicly available.

Kate P.’s allegations against Winston became public knowledge in the fall of 2017 with the publication of a BuzzFeed report detailing her alleged experience with the former Heisman Trophy winner.

He “behaved poorly” and began shouting homophobic slurs at strangers on the street soon after she picked him up at around 2 a.m. on March 13, 2016, Kate claimed in her interview with the outlet.

After he requested that they stop for food, he then “reached over and he just grabbed my crotch” while they were waiting in the drive-thru line of a Mexican restaurant, she continued.

He held his hand there for three to five seconds, she alleged, and removed it after she asked, “What’s up with that?”

The NFL also confirmed to BuzzFeed that the situation was “under review.”

An investigation that spanned eight months found that Winston had violated the league’s code of conduct by “touching the driver in an inappropriate and sexual manner without her consent,” leading the league to conclude that “disciplinary action was necessary and appropriate,” according to ESPN.

Winston was suspended in June for the first three games of the 2018 season, a punishment that cost him more than $100,000 in earnings, ESPN reports.

Winston denied the accusations against him in last November, claiming that he had been "falsely accused" and accusing the Uber driver of being "confused" about the number of people in the car with her and who was sitting next to her. 

Fellow NFL player Ronald Darby, cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles, also came to Winston’s defense shortly after the accusations surfaced last year, claiming that Kate P.’s story was “just not true.” There were three people in the car with her, not one, Darby claimed; he and Winston were seated together in the back seat, and “nothing inappropriate in nature happened,” he said.

Amid news of his suspension in June, Winston publicly apologized to the driver for “the position I put you in,” according to ESPN.

“It is uncharacteristic of me and I genuinely apologize,” his statement reportedly read. “I apologize to my teammates, the Buccaneers organization and fans for letting them down and for not being able to be out there for the first three games of the season.”

“Although I am disappointed in the NFL's decision, I understand the NFL's process, and I embrace this as an opportunity to take advantage of the resources available to help me achieve the goals that I have for myself,” his statement reads.

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

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