A total of seven civil lawsuits have been filed against Deshaun Watson accusing the Texas quarterback of various incidents of sexual misconduct against massage therapists.
Houston attorney Tony Buzbee filed the first three lawsuits on March 16 and 17 in connection with separate incidents involving charges by multiple massage therapists. Buzbee wrote in one of the lawsuits that Watson’s behavior was part of a “disturbing pattern of prey for vulnerable women.” by ESPN’s Sarah Barshop.
Four more lawsuits were filed on March 19. Buzbee said there are a total of nine lawsuits, all filed by separate women accusing Watson of sexual misconduct, ranging from inappropriate touching to, in one case, forced act of oral sex.
Here’s what we know so far about these lawsuits and how Watson and the NFL responded to the allegations.
What to know about the lawsuits against Deshaun Watson
Actions 1 and 2
The first two The lawsuit was filed by Buzbee in Harris County, Texas. The first lawsuit stems from an incident that allegedly occurred at a massage therapist’s home in March 2020, and the second lawsuit stems from an incident that allegedly occurred at The Houstonian’s hotel, club and spa in August 2020. The plaintiffs in both of these lawsuits are female massage therapists who reported themselves as Jane Doe.
Both lawsuits allege that Watson committed a civil assault by exposing himself and touching the plaintiffs ’penis. Both lawsuits also say prosecutors became “uncomfortable” during the massages, and the women abruptly ended the sessions after Watson acted inappropriately and did not respond to any further attempts to communicate from Watson, who initially set up meetings via direct messages on Instagram.
“It became obvious that Watson wanted a massage for only one reason – sex,” the first lawsuit states.
Watson reportedly told a prosecutor who was involved in the March 2020 incident, “I know you have a career and a reputation and I know you would hate having someone mess with yours, just as I don’t want anyone to mess with mine.” According to the lawsuit, she considered Watson’s remark a threat.
Prosecutors are seeking compensatory damages to “prevent Watson from further similar conduct.”
The action 3
The third lawsuit stems from an incident that allegedly occurred in an office building in Houston in December 2020. Plaintiff in the lawsuit filed as Jane Doe.
While a third lawsuit cites a similar pattern of behavior toward a massage therapist, she also says Watson “became more aggressive, telling her strongly to put her hand in his pubic area.” The lawsuit alleges that Watson forced the woman, who felt “intimidated and threatened,” to have oral sex with him and that she “didn’t agree”.
“The prosecutor wants her to have been braver and to have finished the massage,” the lawsuit alleges. “But at that moment she felt helpless. The prosecutor was under Watson’s control.”
Four more civil lawsuits were filed against Watson on March 19, resulting in a total of seven. Three of the four lawsuits allege that Watson established inappropriate contact with women during massage sessions, after Barshop. The fourth said Watson tried to kiss the woman against her will.
Who is Tony Buzbee?
Buzbee is a lawyer for Buzbee Law Office based in Houston. He is a former Marine officer and attended law school at the University of Houston Law Center, according to his biography on the Buzbee law firm website. He has represented a number of senior clients, including former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
He also previously ran for public office, recently launching a failed campaign for Houston mayor in 2019 against the current Sylvester Turner.
In an Instagram post shared from his verified account on March 18, Buzbee said Buzbee Law Firm hired nine women to file cases against Watson, although only three were filed at the time.
“The allegations are similar. We have submitted three, and until we complete the in-depth analysis, we will submit the remaining ones in a timely manner,” the post said. “We are talking to several others. [Buzbee’s associate] Cornelia [Brandfield-Harvey] and I appreciate the kind words and outpouring of support to these brave women who want to come forward and be heard.
No matter what you do in life, there will always be a slanderer. As my father always said, ‘If you’re right, go ahead!’ And so we go. “
What did Deshaun Watson say?
Watson announced the following statement for Twitter March 16:
As a result of the announcement of the plaintiff in search of advertising on social networks, I recently learned about a lawsuit that was apparently filed against me. I haven’t seen the complaint yet, but I know this: I’ve never treated any woman with anything but the utmost respect. The plaintiff’s lawyer claims that this is not about money, but before filing the lawsuit, he filed an unfounded six-figure settlement claim, which I quickly rejected. Unlike him, this is not about money – but about deleting his name and I am looking forward to it.
Houston attorney Rusty Hardin told ESPN that he spoke to Watson on March 17 and agreed to represent him.
“I’m really comfortable with a person like Deshaun Watson and I don’t like to comment publicly until I find out all the facts,” Hardin said, adding that Watson “has a great reputation here in the Houston area, and the allegations are really at odds with the type of person who is . “
Are NFL Texans investigating Deshaun Watson?
Texans published the following statement March 17:
Last night we found out about a civil lawsuit in which Deshaun Watson participated through a post on social media. This is the first time we have heard about the thing and we hope to find out more soon. We take accusations of this nature involving anyone from the Houston Texans seriously. We will wait for additional information before making any further statements about this incident.
An NFL spokesman said the league is aware of the lawsuit, but it is “There are currently no additional comments.” Pro football talk reported March 19 that Lisa Friel, the NFL’s special adviser on investigations, wrote a letter to Buzbee telling him that the league had begun an investigation. She asked Buzbee and his clients to work with him.
Buzbee posted and then deleted, and then republished the letter on his Instagram page. He eventually wrote that his side would “cooperate with the NFL investigation and with any other investigative bodies.”
Anonymous league official said Adam Schefter for ESPN that the league is investigating Watson according to its policy of personal conduct. The Texans said in a second statement on March 19 (according to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle) that they would “remain in close contact” with the league during the investigation.