A 3rd civil lawsuit has been filed towards 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 sample of preying on weak girls,” per ESPN’s Sarah Barshop.
Here’s what we all know thus far about these lawsuits and the way Watson and the NFL have responded to the accusations.
What to find out about lawsuits towards Deshaun Watson
Lawsuits 1 and a couple of
The first two lawsuits have been filed by Buzbee in Harris County, Texas. The primary lawsuit stems from an incident that allegedly occurred at a therapeutic massage therapist’s residence in March 2020, and the second lawsuit stems from an incident that allegedly passed off at The Houstonian Lodge, Membership and Spa in August 2020. The plaintiffs in each of these lawsuits are feminine therapeutic massage therapists who filed as Jane Doe.
Each lawsuits allege that Watson dedicated civil assault by exposing himself and touching the plaintiffs along with his penis. Each lawsuits additionally say the plaintiffs grew “uncomfortable” through the massages, and the girls abruptly ended their periods after Watson acted inappropriately, and they didn’t reply to any extra makes an attempt at communication from Watson, who initially arrange the conferences by way of Instagram direct messages.
“It turned obvious that Watson needed a therapeutic massage for just one motive — intercourse,” the primary lawsuit states.
Watson allegedly instructed the plaintiff concerned within the March 2020 incident: “I do know you could have a profession and a fame, and I do know you’d hate for somebody to mess with yours, identical to I do not need anybody 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.
Whereas the third lawsuit alleges the same sample of habits towards the therapeutic massage therapist, it additionally says Watson “received extra aggressive, forcefully telling her to maneuver her hand all the way down to his pubic space.” The lawsuit claims Watson pressured the girl, who felt “intimidated and threatened,” to carry out oral intercourse on him and that she “didn’t consent.”
“Plaintiff needs she may have been extra brave and would have ended the therapeutic massage,” the lawsuit states. “However she felt helpless within the second. Plaintiff was below Watson’s management.”
The three plaintiffs are searching for compensatory damages so as to “stop Watson from additional like conduct.”
Who’s Tony Buzbee?
Buzbee is Houston-based lawyer of The Buzbee Regulation Agency. He’s a former Marine officer and attended the legislation faculty on the College of Houston Regulation Middle, in keeping with his bio on The Buzbee Regulation Agency website. He has represented numerous high-profile purchasers, together with former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
He has additionally beforehand run for public workplace, most just lately launching an unsuccessful marketing campaign for mayor of Houston in 2019 towards incumbent Sylvester Turner.
In an Instagram submit shared from his verified account Thursday, Buzbee mentioned that the Buzbee Regulation Agency has been employed by 9 girls to carry instances towards Watson, although solely three have been filed thus far.
“The allegations are related. We now have filed three, and, as we full our due diligence, will file the remaining ones in the end,” the submit learn. “We’re speaking to a number of others. [Buzbee’s associate] Cornelia [Brandfield-Harvey] and I admire the type phrases, and outpouring of help for these courageous girls who’re wiling to return ahead and be heard.
“It doesn’t matter what you do in life, there’ll all the time be detractors. As my dad all the time mentioned: ‘In case you are proper, go forward!’ And so we go.”
What has Deshaun Watson mentioned?
Watson posted the next assertion to Twitter on Tuesday evening:
On account of a social media submit by a publicity-seeking plaintiff’s lawyer, I just lately turned conscious of a lawsuit that has apparently been filed towards me. I’ve not but seen the criticism, however I do 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 go well with he made a baseless six-figure settlement demand, which I rapidly rejected. Not like him, this is not about cash for me — it is about clearing my identify, and I sit up for doing that.
Houston-based lawyer Rusty Hardin instructed ESPN that he spoke with Watson on Wednesday and has agreed to signify him.
“I am actual snug with the form of person who Deshaun Watson is, and I do not prefer to publicly remark till I get all of the information,” Hardin mentioned, including that Watson “has a terrific fame right here within the Houston space, and the allegations are actually inconsistent with the form of particular person he’s.”
Are the Texans, NFL investigating Deshaun Watson?
The Texans launched the next assertion on Wednesday:
We turned conscious of a civil lawsuit involving Deshaun Watson by way of a social media submit final evening. That is the primary time we heard of the matter, and we hope to be taught extra quickly. We take accusations of this nature that contain anybody throughout the Houston Texans group severely. We’ll await additional info earlier than making any extra statements on this incident.
An NFL spokesperson mentioned the league is conscious of the lawsuits however has “no additional remark at the moment.” Professional Soccer Discuss 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, after which reposted the letter on his Instagram web page. He ultimately wrote that his aspect “will cooperate with the NFL’s investigation and with another investigative authorities.”
An nameless league official instructed ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the league is investigating Watson below its private conduct coverage. The Texans mentioned in a second assertion Thursday (per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle) that they’d “keep in shut contact” with the league through the investigation.