Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson’s mounting legal problems grew worse this week as three more female massage therapists sued him for civil assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress in Houston, bringing the total number of lawsuits against him to 19.
Watson, 25, is also being accused of deleting Instagram messages and contacting accusers, ‘who formally provided him massages, in an attempt to settle’ those cases, according to one of Monday’s filings obtained by DailyMail.com.
Like the previous 16, the latest three lawsuits were all filed by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee on behalf of Jane Does, who say Watson exposed himself during massages, requested sexual favors, and even forcibly touched them with his penis as they worked.
He is not being accused of sexual assault by any of the three women who filed Monday, although two other plaintiffs did claim he sexually assaulted them by forcing them to perform oral sex oh him. Most, but not all, of the plaintiffs are massage therapists or work in a similar field.
Watson has denied any wrongdoing and his attorney, Rusty Hardin, said ‘any allegation that Deshaun forced a woman to commit a sexual act is completely false.’
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson’s mounting legal problems grew worse this week as three more female massage therapists sued him for civil assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress, bringing the total number of lawsuits against him to 19
Rusty Hardin (left), Watson’s attorney, alleged in a statement that his legal team has ‘strong evidence’ an accusation made by a woman they believe filed one of the lawsuits is false. Tony Buzbee (right), who represents the 19 women, said in a statement: ‘Alleged sexual misconduct is serious. Attempting to criminalize or minimize those that speak out or step forward is wrong’
The NFL is investigating the allegations against Watson, but a league spokesman has declined to speak further on the matter. Houston police and the local district attorney’s office have declined to comment on the lawsuits.
‘It would be inappropriate for the District Attorney’s Office to comment on a civil lawsuit, and we refrain from publicly discussing allegations in any matter until and if a criminal charge is filed; we do this out of fairness to all,’ Dane Schiller, a spokesperson for the Harris County district attorney, said in a statement.
At a news conference earlier this month, Buzbee said the lawsuits aren’t about money, saying that the women are suing for $500 in damages, which is the lowest amount that can be sought in civil court in Texas.
Instead, Buzbee said, the lawsuits are about fixing Watson’s pattern of behavior and the culture of the NFL.
‘Plaintiffs have not brought these cases for money or attention; instead Plaintiffs seek a change in behavior with regard to Watson, and a change of culture in the NFL,’ read one of Buzbee’s filings against the defendant.
Last week, Hardin alleged in a statement that he had ‘strong evidence’ one accuser is lying, saying that she tried and failed to blackmail his client for $30,000.
In her lawsuit, the woman alleged Watson forced her to perform oral sex during a massage in December and that she ‘blacked out for a few minutes from the fear’ of her encounter with Watson, which left her ‘terrified.’ She also claims she defecated after the incident because she was so shaken.
Hardin claims that in January, she demanded $30,000 in exchange for her ‘indefinite silence’ on the matter.
Buzbee, meanwhile, has claimed that he has copies of non-disclosure agreements that Watson has asked his massage therapists to sign.
‘We will also provide a copy of the non-disclosure agreement that Deshaun Watson and his marketing manager repeatedly insisted that Jane Doe (and others) sign after (and sometimes before) the ”massage session,” which she refused to sign,’ Buzbee wrote in a statement.
Buzbee previously claimed to have incriminating text messages from Watson to his accusers.
‘Sorry about you feeling uncomfortable,’ read one of Watson’s purported text messages, which Buzbee posted on Instagram. ‘Never were the intensions. Lmk if you want to work in the future. My apologies.’
In another text, purportedly sent by Watson ahead of an appointment, he asked the masseuse if she was ‘comfortable with the glute area.’
Hardin accused Buzbee of creating a ‘circus-like atmosphere by using social media’ to publicize the lawsuits. He said that Watson recognizes that ‘sexual assault and harassment are not only unlawful, but morally wrong.’
Hardin said that many massage therapists who have previously worked with Watson describe him as a ‘gentleman and a model client who never engaged in inappropriate conduct.’
The allegations come at a precarious time for the Texans and Watson, who has reportedly demanded a trade from Houston amid the club’s roster overhaul.
The team has responded by steadfastly refusing to deal the three-time Pro Bowl selection, according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini.
Houston recently released defensive end JJ Watt, a franchise cornerstone and local hero who has since signed with the Arizona Cardinals.
Prior to the 2020 season, Watson signed a massive four-year, $156 million contact that included $110 million guaranteed.
Several of the alleged incidents are said to have occurred at a hotel where Watson was staying. Two of the lawsuits specifically identified that hotel as The Houstonian (pictured)