Yasiel Puig reached confidential settlements in 2017 with two different women who accused him of sexual assault, per Gus Garcia-Roberts of the Washington Post.
The encounters allegedly occurred during a two-day span both before and after the Dodgers FanFest in 2017. Puig’s attorney told the Post that the outfielder reached settlements with the women in which Puig denied the allegations and also paid the women a total of $325,000.
Major League Baseball was aware of the allegations in 2017, per the Post. From Garcia-Roberts:
MLB did get Puig to grant the women permission to speak with investigators, the people familiar with the situation said. But it’s not clear whether the women chose to do so, and MLB closed its investigation without taking action.
The language in MLB’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy is such that had Puig barred the women permission to speak with MLB investigators, he would have been subject to punishment:
It shall be deemed a failure to cooperate under Section II.B.5 of the Policy if a Player enters into a settlement agreement or other agreement with a Covered Individual that, because of a confidentiality or other non-disclosure provision in that agreement, prevents the Covered Individual or the Player from cooperating with an investigation, including the disclosure of documents, testimony, or other information concerning an alleged Covered Act. However, it shall not be deemed a failure to cooperate under the Policy if a Covered Individual’s decision not to cooperate with a Commissioner’s Office investigation is reached of his or her own volition.
Dodgers president Stan Kasten told Garcia-Roberts when asked about the 2017 Puig allegations, “I have no recollection of that at all.”
The timing of this story helps explain why Puig went on the offensive last week regarding media coverage of him throughout his major league career. As part of a statement that appeared with Puig holding a burning newspaper, Puig said, “Almost as soon as I got here, the media pushed certain narratives about me because it sold more newspapers.”
So I got something on my chest. I know its long so some of you may be happy for me, or sorry that it happened. If you actually read it, you will probably say the same. And yes, I had help. @lisettecarnet asks me how I feel, then she puts it in your language. She speaks Puig. pic.twitter.com/v5KtJigPl8— Yasiel Puig (@YasielPuig) December 4, 2021
Also last week, Puig responded to a report about him unable to find interest from MLB teams by tweeting in Spanish — roughly translated — “I never denounced or accused anyone. Do not say ‘although the charges against him were not proven.’ Report what it is: MLB investigated and that was not how things were reported, so they determined no punishment would be fair. Help me share my truths.”
What is true is that another woman sued Puig in October 2020 for an alleged sexual assault at Staples Center in 2019. That suit was settled for $250,000. From Garcia-Roberts, “An MLB spokesman said that with the lawsuit settled, the league is now ‘actively reviewing’ the case.”
And the public might not have ever known about the two 2017 allegations without that 2020 lawsuit shining a new light on Puig.
Puig did not join a major league team for 2022, instead signing a 1-year, $1 million contract with the Kiwoom Heroes of the Korean Baseball Organization.