A 3rd civil lawsuit has been filed against Deshaun Watson accusing the Texans quarterback of sexually assaulting a therapeutic massage therapist in December 2020.
Houston lawyer Tony Buzbee filed that lawsuit and two different lawsuits this week associated to separate incidents involving accusations from different therapeutic massage therapists. Buzbee wrote in one of many lawsuits that Watson’s habits is a part of a “disturbing pattern of preying on vulnerable women,” per ESPN’s Sarah Barshop.
Here is what we know up to now about these lawsuits and the way Watson and the NFL have responded to the accusations.
What to know about lawsuits against Deshaun Watson
Lawsuits 1 and a pair of
The first two lawsuits had been filed by Buzbee in Harris County, Texas. The first lawsuit stems from an incident that allegedly occurred at a therapeutic massage therapist’s dwelling in March 2020, and the second lawsuit stems from an incident that allegedly occurred at The Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa in August 2020. The plaintiffs in each of these lawsuits are feminine therapeutic massage therapists who filed as Jane Doe.
Both lawsuits allege that Watson dedicated civil assault by exposing himself and touching the plaintiffs together with his penis. Both lawsuits additionally say the plaintiffs grew “uncomfortable” through the massages, and the ladies abruptly ended their classes after Watson acted inappropriately, and they didn’t reply to any extra makes an attempt at communication from Watson, who initially arrange the conferences through Instagram direct messages.
“It became apparent that Watson wanted a massage for only one reason — sex,” the primary lawsuit states.
Watson allegedly advised the plaintiff concerned within the March 2020 incident: “I know you have a career and a reputation, and I know you would hate for someone to mess with yours, just like I don’t want anyone messing with mine.” She thought of Watson’s comment to be a risk.
The third lawsuit stems from an incident that allegedly occurred at a Houston workplace constructing in December 2020. The plaintiff within the lawsuit filed as Jane Doe.
While the third lawsuit alleges an analogous sample of habits towards the therapeutic massage therapist, it additionally says Watson “got more aggressive, forcefully telling her to move her hand down to his pubic area.” The lawsuit claims Watson pressured the girl, who felt “intimidated and threatened,” to carry out oral intercourse on him and that she “did not consent.”
“Plaintiff wishes she could have been more courageous and would have ended the massage,” the lawsuit states. “But she felt helpless in the moment. Plaintiff was under Watson’s control.”
The three plaintiffs are searching for compensatory damages so as to “prevent Watson from further like conduct.”
Who is Tony Buzbee?
Buzbee is Houston-based lawyer of The Buzbee Law Firm. He is a former Marine officer and attended the regulation faculty on the University of Houston Law Center, according to his bio on The Buzbee Law Firm site. He has represented quite a lot of high-profile purchasers, together with former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
He has additionally beforehand run for public workplace, most not too long ago launching an unsuccessful marketing campaign for mayor of Houston in 2019 against incumbent Sylvester Turner.
In an Instagram publish shared from his verified account Thursday, Buzbee stated that the Buzbee Law Firm has been employed by 9 ladies to deliver instances against Watson, although solely three have been filed up to now.
“The allegations are similar. We have filed three, and, as we complete our due diligence, will file the remaining ones in due course,” the publish learn. “We are talking to several others. [Buzbee’s associate] Cornelia [Brandfield-Harvey] and I appreciate the kind words, and outpouring of support for these brave women who are wiling to come forward and be heard.
“No matter what you do in life, there’ll all the time be detractors. As my dad all the time stated: ‘If you’re proper, go forward!’ And so we go.”
What has Deshaun Watson said?
Watson posted the following statement to Twitter on Tuesday evening:
As a results of a social media publish by a publicity-seeking plaintiff’s lawyer, I not too long ago grew to become conscious of a lawsuit that has apparently been filed against me. I’ve not but seen the criticism, however I know this: I’ve by no means handled any lady with something aside from the utmost respect. The plaintiff’s lawyer claims that this is not about cash, however earlier than submitting swimsuit he made a baseless six-figure settlement demand, which I shortly rejected. Unlike him, this is not about cash for me — it is about clearing my identify, and I look ahead to doing that.
Houston-based lawyer Rusty Hardin told ESPN that he spoke with Watson on Wednesday and has agreed to characterize him.
“I’m real comfortable with the kind of person that Deshaun Watson is, and I don’t like to publicly comment until I get all the facts,” Hardin stated, including that Watson “has a great reputation here in the Houston area, and the allegations are really inconsistent with the kind of person he is.”
Are the Texans, NFL investigating Deshaun Watson?
The Texans released the following statement on Wednesday:
We grew to become conscious of a civil lawsuit involving Deshaun Watson by a social media publish final evening. This is the primary time we heard of the matter, and we hope to study extra quickly. We take accusations of this nature that contain anybody inside the Houston Texans group significantly. We will await additional information earlier than making any extra statements on this incident.
An NFL spokesperson stated the league is conscious of the lawsuits however has “no further comment at this time.” Pro Football Talk reported Thursday that Lisa Friel, the NFL’s particular counsel for investigations, wrote Buzbee a letter telling him the league has begun an investigation. She requested that Buzbee and his purchasers cooperate with it. Buzbee posted, then deleted, and then reposted the letter on his Instagram web page. He ultimately wrote that his aspect “will cooperate with the NFL’s investigation and with any other investigative authorities.”
An nameless league official told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the league is investigating Watson underneath its private conduct coverage. The Texans stated in a second assertion Thursday (per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle) that they’d “stay in close contact” with the league through the investigation.