this is "nightline." tonight, bombshell allegations . antonio brown, his former trainer suing him for alleged sex assault and rape. the graphic civil complaint coming as brown suits up for his very first practice as a new england patriot. plus, our new series, "the contenders" at 20. >> i remember him outside our dorm with sideburns and a guitar. >> a look at the early years o o pete buttigieg. tonight, the quirky hobby he seems to have mastered. >> nobody can really win the
claw game. he perfected it. >> and the moment in history that helped shape his world. and the first 9/11 without the first responder whose fight for life side by side with jon stewart inspired millions. but first the "nightline" five. number one in just sixty number one in just sixty seconds. face buried in your phone. stop! look up. look both ways. let's start looking out for each other again. it's a busy world out there. and we're all in it together.
>> reporter: good evening and thanks for joining us. we begin tonight with the staggering claims against one of the biggest names in the n-f-l. antonio brown. graphic accusations of sex assault and rape. here's abc's paula faris. >> reporter: this afternoon, the new england patriots returning to practice amid a firestorm, amidst sexual assault allegations against antonio brown. in a newly-filed civil lawsuit, his former trainer, brittany taylor saying brown used false o world and onc t assaulted assaulted and rayped her. this after brown signed a $15 million contract with the patriots. today his first official practice. >> roethlisberger, end zone.
>> reporter: all eyes now on whether brown will play in this sunday's game and how the nfl will respond. this is just the latest in a league that has been tested in how seriously it takes accusations of assault. >> this is about much more than antonio brown. it's about the national football league, how it handles these issues and how it listens to women. >> brittany taylor was a gymnast at central michigan and met antonio brown when they were in bible study together there. over tyot in contact and she started training him. >> reporter: but in june 2017 things seemingly took a turn. brown had established himself as one of the league's most dynamic players and was coming off his fifth career pro bowl selection as a wide receiver for the pittsburgh steelers taylor alleges he had just begun off-season training with her when he walked into a bathroom she was in with hbbing
kissing her without her consent. while she was watching a religious video he began masturbating behind her and ejaculated on her back. she says brown sent a member apologizing and asked her to start training with him again. apologizing and asked her to start training with him again. she agreed with the condition wh panic attacks, frequent suicidal ideations and insomnia. >> often it can be difficult for people to come forward, and she has put her name right out there. another kooey part of this is brittany taylor says she will cooperate with the national football league and help them in their investigation. >> reporter: brown has not been charged criminally and denies
each and every allegation in the lawsuit, adding any sexual interaction with mr. brown was entirely consensual. a sentiment which was repeated by brown's power agent, drew rosenhouse who took it one step further. >> this is a money grab. antonio will cooperate. he will cooperate with the patriots, with the nfl, with any investigation, with the nfl pa and antonio will be cleared. these allegations in the lawsuit are false. >> essentially, the claim is this. that on multiple occasions, brittany taylor is saying antonio brown sexually assaulted her. as a result, she suffered tremendous pain and suffering, and because of that, she is saying i am entitled to money damages. >> reporter: the lawsuit reportedly catching the patriots off guard, the team issuing a statement saying we are aware of the civil lawsuit filed against antonio brown as well as the
response by antonio's representatives. we take thesens very seriously. under no circumstance does this organization condone sexual violence or assault. the league has informed us that they will be investigating. today his new coach, bill belichick and tom brady tight-lipped at an afternoon press conference. >> were you aware of the lawsuit when you signed antonio brown? >> i'm not going to be expanding on the statements that have been given. >> don't you think the fans deserve to hear more from you? >> when we know more we'll tell it. >> the commissioner of the league has a tool to take care of this for right now and to put antonio brown on the guilty. doesn't mean he's innocent. it's paid leave. it's basically get out of the way. >> reporter: the "washington ree is considering the commissioner's exemption list. >> brown, touchdown! >> reporter: brown at one point the nfl's highest paid wide
receiver is the perennial all pro. >> antonio brown is one of the best players in the nfl, certainly one of the best wide receivers in the nfl. >> this man can do things that no other wide receiver can do. he's not the big eagest guy, no the strongest but he's all heart on the field. >> reporter: his in your face personality making him a marketing dream. he scored deals with nike, pepsi and others. but moments like this raising eyebrows. in july, tweeting a video showing him arriving to a training camp in napa in a hot air balloon. >> time to get to work, baby. >> reporter: his antics dominating the summer sports news cycle. >> frostbite. >> nobody's doing better than antonio. >> sidelined indefinitely after a cryomishap.
>> i was training and trying cold therapy to recover my body, and i got out and felt my pofoot days. in the nfl, theyafyit tns o thed been wearing was no longer okay with the league. he was not allowed to wear t. >> reporter: brown sitting out for much of the preseason, insisting he should be allowed to wear his old helmet. then earlier this month, the raiders fined him $215,000 for conduct detrimental to the team, to which brown responded on instagram, saying, you are going to piss a lot of people off when you start doing what's best for you. release me, raiders. then four days ago, after reports a near-physical fight between brown and the general manager, brown posted this instagram video when he found out he'd been released by the
team. >> fly like an eagle! >> reporter: and nowadays after signing with the patriots, replete with what appears to be a picture posted on barstool sports showing bro quarterback, tom brady, his future on the football field is in the hands of the league's investigators. as brown's reps prepare to counter sue, brittany taylor is seeking unspecified damages and demanding a jury trial. >> we don't know if antonio brown is telling the truth or brittany taylor's telling the truth. this is the case of plain and simple listening to a many would. is the nfl going to listen to brittany taylor. everyone says they're taking it seriously, are they? >> and our thanks to paula faris. up next, surprising things about mayor pete. who knew? first up in our special series on the 2020 contenders at age 20 yeah, i'm great. )
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we were younger was really the smart neighbor boy next door that went to harvard. >> i remember him outside of our dorm with sideburns and a guitar and a case with a lot of stickers on it. >> states like these and their virrorists allies constitute an ♪ the moment, you want it ♪ >> my name is steve coe. he was my bunk mate on the very first night. five or six of us all lived together all years of college. and within that group, peter was the one who was the traditionke the traditions and of the flame. >> i felt like i could measure
up to pete. he was one of the most intelligent and thoughtful people in college. >> my make name is mike. i wient to college with peter. i remember meeting his dorm mates. everybody was quirky, nerdy, somebody who could do the rubiks cube in five seconds. >> at some point he acquired an aboriginal instrument. not only could he generate a tone with it but taught himself circular breathing so he could continuously breathe in or out, which meant he could hold this note continuously, forever it seemed. classic peter. >> he also is really into the clogging, the thing that comes down to pick up toys. oftentimes i'd go to walmart and he'd be there playing the game. nobody can really win the claw
game. he perfected it. >> my name is elysse king and i grew up next door to pete. he's not someone who's going to be that bull in the china shop just saying something to say something. >> julia chismar. came to know peter when he took macro economics as a student. what stands out is his leader t 9/11 generation and a veteran of the afghanistan conflict, my own world view is shaped predictably, by my life experience. >> the entire building has just collapsed, folded down on itself, and it is not there anymore. >> both trade towers where thousands of people work, have
now been attacked and destroyed. >> september 11th happened during our sophomore year. and that was, obviously, the formative political moment for all of us in college. >> there is simply no way to accurately describe the emotion this evokes. >> i think he always was interested in politics. always had that drive. then september 11th added a level of gravity and probably a level of urgency. >> you know, after 9/11 there was a lot of hope that was a uniting thing for this country out of this tragedy. when that didn't happen and the iraq war became very politicized that was dissolutioning for many people at harvard, including myself and pete. >> peter's principal activities was the school of government. >> it was a place where anybody could go and grill a world leader.
>> this is pete asking a question of ted kennedy. >> how is your party going to sort out what it thinks the meaning of opposition is. >> those differences will be clearer as i think they are getting clearer as time goes on. >> i that i's quintessential pete. i cut throu he cut through a lot of the noise and asked the real question of the day. what is the democratic party for just the republican party but less so. >> do you think this country is ready for a gay president? >> there's only one way to find out. >> i did not know. >> i did not know. >> i don't think any of us suspected. he had a girlfriend freshman year and senior year. >> coming out did not come easily for my. i did not have the same self-knowledge and presence of mind and courage i see in so many young people who are here today. >> nobody thought it was realistic that a gay american could be elected to higher office. and at the time you had the republicans running on anti-gay
slogans. >> i think at the time peter must have felt like he was ho, ho!in a difficult place. >> being gay is just another part of him, like having brown hair or being maltese. >> it wouldn't have made a difference to me or any of our friends and it doesn't make a difference now. >> growing up in south bend at that time i think it would have been difficult to come out as gay. i can't say that i had any friends growing up that came out in high school. ♪ >> when pete and i were growing up in south bend, you know, it was very, and still is, very family oriented, very community oriented. everyone watches out for each other. pete's parents are incredibly kind. his mom did a lot of paintings. she was really generous. his dad was extremely jovial.
he would kind of sit on the back porch, just kind of giving this hearty laugh. he was also a man of deep intellect. >> peter's heritage is maltese. his father was born there. >> he went to northern football games with his dad. he was a professor there. i thin good relationship with his parents. >> he was an only child, so he spent a lot of time with his parents having really deep, sophisticated conversations. . >> i remember him saying at a din are right before graduation, i didn't grow up with brothers, but i feel like i have them now. there's something about meeting somebody at the age of 17 that really marks who you are. that runs pretty deep all those years later. if i could describe peter in five words it would probably be. >> thoughtful. >> thoughtful. >> loyal. >> loyal. >> caring. >> curious. >> caring. >> intelligent, motivated. >> intelligent.
>> compassionate, funny and brother. >> reporter: and be sure to g 2020 democ candidates debate right here tomorrow night beginning at eight eastern on abc. and next, a key 9/11 legacy honored tonight. it's how we bring real hope to our cancer patients- like viola. when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, her team at ctca created a personalized care plan that treated her cancer and strengthened her spirit. so viola could focus on her future. their future. this is how we inspire hope. this is how we heal. cancer treatment centers of america. appointments available now. cancer treatment centers of america. there's brushing and there's oral-b power brushing. oral-b just cleans better. it's the one inspired by dentists... with the round brush head. oral-b's gentle rounded brush head removes more plaque along the gumline...
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>> reporter: finally tonight, the first 9/11 without the first responder who inspired the world. it's his family and friends' first september 11th without him. luis alvarez, the former detective with the nypd bomb squad who died this summer from. >> inobee with you, but you made me come.re our eyes. before the attacks, so strong and vital. standing shoulder to shoulder with jon stewart, fighting to save the 9/11 compensation fund from running out.
>> we were part of showing the world that we would never back down from terrorism and that we could all work together. no races, no colors, no politics. >> alvarez's brother sitting the city h abc's stacy sager.>>f sicknesses. they're all luis alvarezs. >> lu's spirit lives on, but this september 11th, his loss profoundly deepened. and we thank stacy sager for that. good night, america.