Two other civil lawsuits in which Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was charged with sexual misconduct were filed with a Texas court on Tuesday night, bringing the total to 21.
The lawsuits appeared on the Harris County District Clerk’s website Wednesday morning.
The two most recent lawsuits are from a massage professional in Arizona and a Houston woman working to earn her massage license.
The Houston woman said she provided massages to Watson four times in mid-2020. And while the first three appointments upset and shocked her, she continued to work with Watson because she feared he would ruin her reputation while trying to get her business started. The fourth date, she said, culminated when Watson forced her into oral sex, and then she refused to cooperate with him.
Also, one of the new lawsuits states that Watson has “ unsent ” messages on Instagram and has contacted the women who previously massaged him “ through middlemen. ” That statement clarifies the contents of a lawsuit filed Sunday by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee, alleging that Watson deleted Instagram posts and contacted the women “ who formally gave him massages in an attempted settlement. ”
In response, Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin released statements from 18 different female massage therapists on Wednesday saying the former Clemson star did not act inappropriately with them.
Two more civil lawsuits accusing Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct were filed with a Texas court on Tuesday night, bringing the grand total to 21.
In a statement on Monday, Hardin responded to the suggestion that his client had deliberately deleted Instagram posts, saying that Watson has not done so since the first lawsuit was filed on March 15. Hardin also denied the allegation that Watson had contacted any prosecutor to persuade them to settle these matters.
Like the previous 16, the last three lawsuits were all filed by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee on behalf of Jane Does, who says Watson exposed himself during massages, asked for sexual favors, and even forcibly touched them with his penis while they worked. According to Buzbee, most, but not all, of the total of 21 plaintiffs are licensed massage therapists or work in a similar field.
Watson is not charged with sexual assault by any of the three women who filed Monday, although two other prosecutors who filed earlier this month alleged sexual assault, saying he forced them to perform oral sex with him.
Watson, 25, has denied any wrongdoing, and Hardin said earlier, “any accusation that Deshaun forced a woman to commit a sexual act is completely false.”
Rusty Hardin (left), Watson’s attorney, claimed in a statement that his legal team has “strong evidence” that an allegation made by a woman who they believe filed one of the lawsuits is false. Tony Buzbee (right), representing the 21 women, said in a statement: “Alleged sexual misconduct is serious. It is wrong to criminalize or minimize those who speak out or come forward ‘
The NFL is investigating the allegations against Watson, but a league spokesman has declined to discuss the matter further. Houston police and the local district attorney’s office have declined to comment on the lawsuits.
“It would be inappropriate for the prosecutor to comment on a civil lawsuit, and we will refrain from public discussions of allegations in any case until and when a criminal charge is filed; We are doing this with fairness, ”Dane Schiller, a Harris County district attorney’s spokesman, said in a statement.
At a news conference earlier this month, Buzbee said the lawsuits are not about money, saying the women are seeking damages of $ 500, the lowest amount that can be filed in Texas Civil Court.
Instead, Buzbee said, the lawsuits are about correcting Watson’s pattern of behavior and the culture of the NFL.
Plaintiffs have not brought these matters up for money or attention; instead, plaintiffs are seeking a change in behavior regarding Watson and a culture change in the NFL, ”said one of Buzbee’s filings against the defendant.
Hardin insisted Monday that the lawsuits are really about money.
“Counsel’s ongoing statements that these cases are not about money are inconsistent with the facts in at least two of these cases,” Hardin said in his statement. “It is incredibly irresponsible to continue making these kinds of false accusations in this avalanche of anonymous lawsuits, especially while we are still trying to find out who the prosecutors are.
“We will address these issues, and others raised in these cases, in our formal response to court in the coming weeks.”
STATEMENT BY WATSON LAWYER, RUSTIN HARDIN
Like many people, Deshaun regularly deletes Instagram posts from the past. That said, he hasn’t deleted any posts since March 15, the day before the first lawsuit was filed. We categorically deny that he contacted his prosecutors directly in an attempt to resolve these matters.
Counsel’s continued statements that these cases are not about money are inconsistent with the facts in at least two of these cases. It is incredibly irresponsible to continue making these kinds of false accusations in this avalanche of anonymous lawsuits, especially while trying to find out who the prosecutors are. We will address these issues, and others raised in these cases, in our formal response to court in the coming weeks. ‘
Last week, Hardin claimed in a statement that he had “strong evidence” that a prosecutor is lying, saying she tried to blackmail his client for $ 30,000, but failed to do so.
In her lawsuit, the woman alleged that Watson forced her to have oral sex during a massage in December and that she passed out “ for a few minutes in fear ” of meeting Watson, leaving her “ terrified. ” She also claims she relieved herself after the incident because she was so shocked.
Hardin claims she demanded $ 30,000 in January in exchange for her “ indefinite silence ” on the matter.
Buzbee, meanwhile, claims he has copies of nondisclosure agreements that Watson has asked his massage therapists to sign.
“ We will also provide a copy of the nondisclosure agreement Deshaun Watson and his marketing manager have repeatedly insisted that Jane Doe (and others) signed after (and sometimes before) the ” massage session, ” which she declined to sign, ” Buzbee wrote a statement.
Buzbee previously alleged that he sent incriminating text messages from Watson to his prosecutors.
“Sorry to make you uncomfortable,” read one of Watson’s alleged text messages Buzbee posted to Instagram. Never were the intentions. Lmk if you want to work in the future. My apologies.’
In another text, supposedly sent by Watson prior to an appointment, he asked the masseuse if she was “comfortable with the glutes.”
Hardin accused Buzbee of creating a “circus-like atmosphere” by using social media to publicize the lawsuits. He said Watson acknowledges that “sexual assault and intimidation are not only illegal, but also morally wrong.”
Hardin said many massage therapists who have previously worked with Watson describe him as a “ gentleman and model client who has never been guilty of inappropriate behavior. ”
The allegations come at a precarious time for the Texans and Watson, who have reportedly demanded a trade from Houston during the club’s roster overhaul.
The team has responded by steadfastly refusing to handle the triple Pro Bowl selection, it said Dianna Russini from ESPN
Houston recently released defensive end JJ Watt, a franchise cornerstone and local hero who has since signed with the Arizona Cardinals.
Ahead of the 2020 season, Watson signed a massive $ 156 million four-year deal, including $ 110 million guaranteed.
Several of the alleged incidents are said to have taken place in a hotel where Watson was staying. Two of the lawsuits specifically identified that hotel as The Houstonian (pictured)