Warning: The following article contains graphic allegations of sexual assault.
A new pair of sexual assault allegations against former MLB outfielder Yasiel Puig have come to light, less than a week after he signed a $1 million deal with a Korean baseball team.
Puig reached legal settlements with two women who accused him of sexually assaulting them on consecutive days in 2017, according to The Washington Post's Gus Garcia-Roberts. The former All-Star reportedly paid the women, represented by attorney Gloria Allred, a total of $325,000 in settlements that included non-disclosure agreements.
MLB was reportedly aware of the allegations against Puig, then with the Dodgers, and opted not to suspend him or place him on administrative leave, unlike their handling of many more public accusations. Los Angeles Dodgers president Stan Kasten claimed to "have no recollection of that at all” when asked by the Post.
What Yasiel Puig was accused of doing
In a letter Allred reportedly sent to Puig, she claimed the outfielder went to a nightclub on Jan. 27, 2017 with a woman, who lived in Los Angeles.
Puig allegedly offered to take the woman home around the time she realized she was intoxicated. Puig allegedly insisted on walking her to her door, which she said she protested due to their mutual inebriation, then pushed his way into her apartment, started kissing her and pulled off her underwear.
The woman said she repeatedly told Puig to leave and told him she was not interested in sex, but he only stopped after she screamed once he attempted to rape her. Puig then allegedly tried to force her to perform oral sex on him, which she also resisted, at which point Puig ejaculated and left the apartment.
There is reportedly no indication the woman reported the alleged assault to the police.
A day later, Puig attended the Dodgers' FanFest at Dodger Stadium, where he pledged to focus more on baseball after a turbulent 2016 season. After the event, he allegedly invited a woman to join him at a friend's house in Santa Fe Springs, where they had consensual sex in the bedroom.
During intercourse, the second woman claimed Puig noticed a bruise on her leg and accused her of having sex with someone else. It is unclear what kind of relationship they had before meeting at FanFest, if there was any at all. An angry Puig allegedly slapped the woman "violently and repeatedly" across the face, then choked her with his left hand.
The woman said Puig only released her once she began to pass out. She then reportedly texted a friend to come "rescue" her in messages obtained by the Post.
The alleged assault was reported to Santa Fe Springs police two days later, with the woman showing a bruise on her right shoulder, marks on both sides of her lower neck and bruising on the left of her chin. She reportedly told police she wanted the allegation documented but not prosecuted due to the fame of her alleged attacker.
Both women reached confidential settlements with Puig through Allred in April of that year.
MLB knew of allegations against Puig
While MLB has frequently sidelined players accused of sexual assault and domestic violence, it apparently took no such action upon learning of the allegations against Puig.
The league reportedly did get Puig to grant the women permission to speak with its investigators despite the NDAs, but it's unclear if the women chose to do so. The investigation was reportedly closed, leaving Puig fully available for what would be one of the better seasons of his career in 2017.
Puig attempting MLB comeback
Once considered one of the most exciting talents in all of baseball, Puig has not appeared in an MLB game since the 2017 season. He did reach a deal with the Atlanta Braves in 2020, but that was nixed by a positive COVID-19 test.
The allegations against Puig from the 2018 Lakers game came to light later in 2020. He claimed the allegations to be "totally false" and insisted he and his accuser had consensual sex, which led to his accuser countering she is a lesbian who was attending the game with her female fiancée.
Per the Post, the woman's lawsuit was settled for $250,000. One of the reported reasons he settled was a disclosure by his attorneys that his ability to pay a larger sum was limited. While Puig made $51.6 million in MLB salaries alone, documents apparently showed his finances to consist of overdrawn checking accounts and an MLB retirement account with half a million dollars withdrawn.
Free of that lawsuit, Puig has since presented himself as a baseball outsider who was misunderstood by MLB and the media, with the stated aim of returning to the big leagues.
Last Wednesday, Puig signed a $1 million deal with the Kiwoom Heroes. We'll see where that road takes him.