PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – During a time when he was separated from his girlfriend earlier this year, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was living in the posh Mansions at Acqualina. His $35K a month, $7.5 million fully furnished home was on the 14th floor, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean near Miami.
On April 24, during a dispute with building security over $80K in cash and a gun he claims were stolen, police and the two lawsuits say the Brown became agitated. It was during the argument some items were thrown off the unit’s balcony. In his lawsuit, Ophir Sternberg claims the items nearly hit his 22-month old son, who was walking with his grandfather near the pool.
In a statement Thursday released on Twitter by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Brown says, ”It has now been made public that two lawsuits containing false claims have been filed against me. The facts will soon come out that prove my innocence.”
As Brown practiced with his teammates Thursday on the South Side, his attorney Darren Heitner filed a response to the Sternberg lawsuit saying in part:
“This action amounts to nothing more than a shameful attempt by a struggling real estate developer to exploit his minor child for the purpose of alleging a baseless and false claim against a well-known and respected individual.”
“…Plaintiff’s Complaint is a blatant shakedown attempt.”
“Defendant was not the alleged perpetrator of the actions alleged in Plaintiff’s Complaint”
“Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s guardian have been made fully aware of the fact that Defendant was not the alleged perpetrator and that the acts were committed by another individual who was also present at the time of the incident.”
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The response ask the court to dismiss the Sternberg lawsuit.
A response to the second lawsuit filed by Brown’s landlord for damage to the home is not due until Oct. 23.
As for impacting the Steelers, Brown says on Twitter: “My focus will remain on football and I will not let the cases serve as a distraction.”
But how much of a distraction is it for his teammates?
“None,” says quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, “If you have a veteran group that is able to compartmentalize, to put things outside distractions behind them and move on.”
Guard David DeCastro agreed, saying, “They really don’t I’m not going to lie to you. It’s kind of the nature we live in. It’s kind of turned into WWE a little bit with entertainment side. It’s kind of disappointing when I look at it but I try to ignore it. I worry about what’s going on in here on this team and enjoy my time with the guys and try to win football games all that other stuff is just white noise to me personally.”
Brown is scheduled to talk to the media Friday at the Steelers locker-room. It’s not known if he will talk about the lawsuits.