The former girlfriend of Minnesota Vikings cornerback Jeff Gladney has filed a lawsuit against him in Dallas, accusing him of beating her for over two hours in April and then trying to bribe her into silence with a $1,000 necklace from Tiffany’s and a gift certificate to a spa.
The civil lawsuit seeks at least $1 million in damages and adds to the legal problems facing Gladney, who was scheduled for a grand jury hearing Thursday. He could be formally indicted soon after facing a charge of felony assault. He surrendered to Dallas authorities after the incident in April.
Gladney, 24, a former first-round draft pick out of TCU, could not be reached for comment. Messages seeking comment from his agent and attorney were not immediately returned.
The woman’s lawsuit was filed this week and obtained by USA TODAY Sports. It gives her account of what happened in the alleged incident, which began the night of April 1, after she looked through Gladney's phone while he was helping load a bed into his truck near Dallas. She stated she saw messages from Gladney to another woman for whom he bought $700 Louis Vuitton sunglasses.
"Plaintiff felt betrayed upon seeing these messages," the lawsuit states. "Earlier that day, Plaintiff had offered to pay for Defendant’s (Gladney’s) haircut and sent Defendant $50 through Cash App as a gesture of kindness. Upset at Defendant’s unfaithfulness to her, Plaintiff sent $100 to herself from Defendant’s phone via Cash App."
It spiraled from there, according to the suit. After she said she confronted Gladney, he demanded to go through her phone.
"Plaintiff refused," the suit states. "That is when the assault and violence began."
What happened next, according to the suit, generally matches the outline of her account given to Dallas police after the incident. While in his vehicle as he drove, the lawsuit alleges Gladney yelled at her to unlock her phone, pulled her hair, punched her, choked her and slammed her face into the dashboard.
Gladney "exited the freeway several times to take the access roads so that Defendant could continue punching and beating her at the red lights and then would get back on the freeway," the suit states.
As they neared her apartment complex, she noticed a car parked on the side with the lights on, according to the suit.
"Having been beaten for over two hours, thrown around like a rag doll, and fearing for her life, she had only one thought at that point, no matter the risk: try to get to that car before Defendant forced her into the apartment where her fate would be even more perilous," the lawsuit states. "Plaintiff knew this was her last chance to survive."
She jumped out of the car, but "as she did, Defendant managed to grab her by her shirt or arm at the last second," causing her feet to drag across the ground while the vehicle was still moving, according to the suit.
"Defendant then hit a parked car, at which time Defendant finally let go of Plaintiff," the suit states. "Plaintiff ran to the car she saw earlier and noticed there were two girls sitting in that car. The girls unlocked their car and let Plaintiff in. Plaintiff looked back and saw Defendant standing by the truck while she called the police. By the time Plaintiff finished speaking to the police, Defendant and Defendant’s truck were gone."
The suit states Gladney tried to persuade her not to press charges and that she worked with Gladney to "seemingly mend the relationship."
Gladney continued to follow, harass, intimidate and falsely accuse her of lying about the assault, according to the suit.
"On July 25, 2021, Defendant showed up at Plaintiff’s home, uninvited, and forced Plaintiff, against her will, to delete threads of text messages and screenshots of text messages," the suit states.
The suit accuses Gladney of assault, battery, false imprisonment and spoliation of evidence.
Gladney started 15 games last year for the Vikings, who didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. After his arrest in April, the Vikings said they take the matter seriously "as the reported allegations are extremely disturbing." General manager Rick Spielman said "we're letting the due process take its course."
Since the alleged incident, Gladney has not taken part in workouts or training camp with the Vikings.
Follow reporter Brent Schrotenboer @Schrotenboer. E-mail: email@example.com
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Vikings' Jeff Gladney accused of assaulting woman for hours in lawsuit