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Deshaun Watson attorney calls assault allegations ‘an avalanche of false accusations’


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Deshaun Watson’s attorney said his investigative team has found that the women accusing Deshaun Watson of inappropriate behavior during massage sessions aren’t giving accurate representations of their encounters with the Houston Texans quarterback.

Attorney Rusty Hardin made Watson’s case in a response filed Monday to the 22 lawsuits pending against Watson in Harris County, Texas. One woman withdrew her case out of privacy concerns once the court ordered the names of the accusers to be part of their individual civil suits last week.

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Deshaun Watson attorney responds in court filing

Deshaun Watson, San Francisco 49ers
Dec 20, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) during warmups before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

“We and Mr. Watson take allegations of sexual misconduct against women very seriously, as we all should,” Hardin said in a separate statement he released Monday afternoon. “In the few days since his accusers’ names have been revealed, as was required by Texas law, we are discovering an avalanche of false accusations.”

The cases previously listed Jane Doe as the plaintiff.

The court filing summarizes Watson’s side of the story and states that after massage therapy sessions with Watson, eight plaintiffs “bragged about, praised, and were excited about massaging Mr. Watson.”

Another seven, the filing contends, “willingly worked or offered to work with Mr. Watson after their alleged incidents,” three more “lied about the number of times they actually worked with Watson,” three “lied about their alleged trauma and resulting harm,” and five more “told others they wanted to get money” from Watson.

“It was not until the plaintiffs saw an opportunity for a money grab that they changed their stories to convert therapy sessions they bragged about to friends and family to something much more nefarious,” the response alleges.

Attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents the 22 plaintiffs, did not immediately comment Monday.

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Deshaun Watson attorney doubles down on denials

First Deshaun Watson plaintiff speaks in press conference
Dec 2, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) looks up at the score board from the bench during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

The 25-year-old Watson, in a statement after the first lawsuit was filed on March 21, denied all allegations. Hardin doubled down on that Monday in his own statement.

“Only two of these 22 lawsuits alleged forced sexual activity, which Mr. Watson vehemently denies,” Hardin said. “In the case of Shenee Lawson, her business manager acknowledged to Mr. Watson’s marketing manager that the contact was consensual, but she still wanted money.

“And in the case of Marchelle Davis, witnesses state that Ms. Davis was happy and excited after she massaged Mr. Watson. … In addition, she told witnesses that if Mr. Watson had paid her off, she would have supported him instead of suing him.”

The NFL is continuing with its own investigation into the women’s allegations.

–Field Level Media