Local fans react to Winston accusations

Since Friday, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston has denied any wrongdoing after a sexual assault allegation came to light.  His accuser, a woman who called herself Kate, told Buzzfeed News she picked up Winston while she was driving for Uber in Scottsdale, Arizona in March of 2016.

She claims Winston was alone and hopped in the front seat of her car. Kate says when they stopped for at a drive-through, Winston reached over and groped her.

Winston immediately released a statement denying the claim and said he was not alone in the car.

"A news organization has published a story about me regarding an alleged incident involving a female Uber driver from approximately two years ago. The story falsely accuses me of making inappropriate contact with this driver. I believe the driver was confused as to the number of passengers in the car and who was sitting next to her. The accusation is false, and given the nature of the allegation and increased awareness and consideration of these types of matters, I am addressing this false report immediately. At the time of the alleged incident, I denied the allegations to Uber, yet they still decided to suspend my account.”

Winston’s former FSU teammate and current Philadelphia Eagle Ronald Darby released his own statement and explained that Winston was not along in the car.

"I felt the need to come forward and clarify some inaccurate accounts of the evening of March 13, 2016 when myself, a friend and Jameis Winston took an Uber ride in Arizona," Darby said in a statement. "There were three of us in the car, not just one as has been reported. Myself and Jameis were in the backseat. I am confident that nothing inappropriate in nature happened in the car that evening and Jameis did not have any physical contact with the Uber driver. The accusations are just not true."

Some fans in the Tampa Bay area say they aren’t sure who to believe just yet.

“I feel for the victim but what happened at the very moment and why didn’t you do something,” said fan Andrea Araoz.

“Whether there’s truth in it or not, obviously it garners interest and people want to know,” said Jeff Willis, also a Bucs fan.

Kate says she filed a complaint with Uber, but not the police because she was afraid of negative attention.

Winston says he refuted the allegation to Uber back in 2016, but the ride sharing service banned him anyway.