Commanders kicker Brandon McManus accused of sexual assault in lawsuit

<p>Two women are suing Washington Commanders kicker Brandon McManus, alleging he sexually assaulted them during a flight to London last year while he was playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars, ESPN reported Monday.</p> <p>The lawsuit was filed Friday in Duval County (Fla.) Circuit Civil Court, according to ESPN, which reported that the women - identified as Jane Doe I and Jane Doe II - accuse McManus of rubbing and grinding himself against them. The women are also suing the Jaguars for not supervising McManus and not creating a safe environment for workers serving the team, according to the report.</p> <p>The women are seeking more than $1 million and a jury trial, according to ESPN. </p> <p>“To be clear, these are absolutely fictitious and demonstrably false allegations made as part of a campaign to defame and disparage a talented and well-respected NFL player,” Brett R. Gallaway, an attorney representing McManus, said in a statement. “We intend to aggressively defend Brandon’s rights and integrity and clear his name by showing what these claims truly are - an extortion attempt.”</p> <p>McManus’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.</p> <p>In a statement, the Jaguars said they “acknowledge the significance” of the women’s claims.</p> <p>“As we continue to look into the matter, it bears emphasizing that we insist on an organization built by people who represent our community and game with the highest character and class,” the team added.</p> <p>“Earlier today, we were made aware of the civil lawsuit filed on May 24 against Brandon McManus,” a Commanders spokesperson said in a statement. “We take allegations of this nature very seriously and are looking into the matter. We have been in communication with the League Office and Brandon’s representation, and will reserve further comment at this time.”</p> <p>NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league “is aware of the matter and [has] been in contact with the Commanders.”</p> <p>According to the lawsuit, per ESPN, the women were flight attendants on the Jaguars’ charter to London on Sept. 28, before the team played consecutive games overseas. They allege the flight “quickly turned into a party” with McManus and several other players violating the flight attendants’ personal space and federal law, ESPN reported. The lawsuit claims McManus got other flight attendants to join the revelry and passed out $100 bills while encouraging drinking and inappropriate dancing.</p> <p>Jane Doe I accuses McManus of attempting to kiss her and of grinding against her during meal service, ESPN reported. Jane Doe II makes a similar allegation about his behavior during meal service and says in that lawsuit that McManus “smirked and walked away” after she confronted him.</p> <p>The women said they experienced mental anguish, anxiety, psychological and emotional distress, embarrassment and humiliation, ESPN reported.</p> <p>The lawsuit alleges the Jaguars “committed gross negligence,” in ESPN’s wording, by failing to properly train McManus, failing to supervise his behavior and failing to enforce a zero-tolerance policy.</p> <p>During the back-to-back games in London, Jacksonville beat Atlanta, 23-7, and Buffalo, 25-20; McManus made all eight of his kicks.</p> <p>McManus, a 32-year-old who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Temple, spent his first nine seasons with Denver before signing with Jacksonville last year. In March, he landed a one-year contract worth $3.6 million from Washington. If the Commanders cut him, he would count $1.5 million against the salary cap.</p> <p>- - -</p> <p>Nicki Jhabvala contributed to this report.</p>