Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson could be facing more lawsuits tied to allegations of sexual assault and harassment, based on the latest news from attorney Tony Buzbee.
Buzbee, who already represents the unnamed women filing 16 civil suits against Watson for inappropriate behavior, announced Saturday that he filed the 20th civil case against the Pro Bowl quarterback. While the claim hasn’t been confirmed, it will be known on Monday when submitted court filings can be accessed.
Watson’s first accuser came forward on March 17 and he immediately denied the allegations. The morning after his denial, Buzbee quickly brought forward additional allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Watson. While the 25-year-old quarterback has remained quiet publicly since, the legal drama between the two sides is quickly unfolding.
Latest news on allegations against Deshaun Watson
Watson recently hired attorney Rusty Hardin, who has a history of representing star athletes facing a variety of allegations. Hardin defended Warren Moon in 1996 as he dealt with allegations of domestic abuse. He also represented Adrian Peterson in 2014, following his arrest for hitting his child with a tree branch.
In the past two weeks, the number of allegations against Watson has rapidly increased. While there are some differences in each lawsuit regarding how far Watson took things with the alleged victim, there are also many shared experiences.
Watson is said to have inquired about a massage from many of the women through Instagram, requesting a private session. Several of the accusations also share similar details, like Watson only wearing a small towel around his groin at the start of the massage. One accuser said in the lawsuit that Watson’s aggressiveness made her “scared for her life.”
Many of the alleged acts of sexual harassment and assault occurred within the past calendar year. One unidentified woman accused Watson of exposing himself and pressuring her during a massage at her private residence in March 2020. Some of the most recent accusations said he committed similar acts during a massage session with another woman in March 2021.
Buzbee recently held a press conference, announcing 22 women reached out to him and more civil suits would come. He also said the Houston Police Department contacted him for information but walked that back after the HPD denied ever reaching out to him. On Thursday, the HPD said they still have not received any documentation of evidence from the attorney.
On social media, Buzbee has suggested he has convincing evidence that proves Watson’s guilt. He provided alleged screenshots of text messages that show Watson apologizing for his behavior, but the validity of the messages is in question.
Watson’s attorney accused one of the women of attempted blackmail for $30,000 and believes the accusations against his client are “meritless.”
The NFL is conducting an active investigation into the allegations, planning to speak with all of the parties involved. While the league typically uses the commissioner’s exempt list to sideline players facing criminal charges, there remains a possibility it could decide to place Watson on the exempt list.