By Peter Brennan

The Antonio Brown saga, which has looked like a comedy as his behavior drove him out of Oakland and toward New England, just got deadly serious.

A woman alleges in a federal lawsuit that Patriots wide receiver Brown sexually assaulted her on three occasions in 2017 and 2018.

In the complaint, filed in the Southern District of Florida, Britney Taylor claims that Brown forcibly kissed her and masturbated near her during separate encounters in 2017 while she was helping train him for an upcoming NFL season. She alleges that Brown raped her on May 20, 2018.

Brown’s lawyer, Darren Heitner, said in a statement that his client had a “consensual personal relationship” with Taylor but denied raping or sexually assaulting her.

“Mr. Brown denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit,” Heitner wrote in the statement. “He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false allegations.”

In a statement the Patriots released late Tuesday night, the team acknowledged that the NFL will be investigating the allegations:

“We are aware of the civil lawsuit that was filed earlier today against Antonio Brown, as well as the response by Antonio’s representatives. We take these allegations very seriously. Under no circumstance does this organization condone sexual violence or assault. The league has informed us that they will be investigating. We will have no further comment while that investigation takes place.”