HOUSTON — A third civil lawsuit filed against Deshaun Watson accuses the Houston Texans’ quarterback of sexually assaulting a massage therapist by allegedly forcing her to have oral sex with him in December 2020.
The lawsuit was filed by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee on Wednesday night and appeared on the Harris County district clerk’s website Thursday morning.
Buzbee said on Instagram on Thursday that there are nine total cases against Watson. So far, only three civil lawsuits have been filed. The previous two lawsuits were related to two separate incidents during which he is accused of committing “civil assault” by touching a massage therapist with his penis.
Reached via text message later Thursday, Buzbee told ESPN that his office has been in contact with police and “we will be sending a package” to them with information related to all nine cases.
Houston police declined to comment to ESPN whether they’re investigating the matter. A spokesman for the Harris County district attorney’s office told ESPN on Thursday that nobody from any law enforcement agency has provided information to the D.A.’s office about the allegations involving Watson.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy on Thursday said “the matter is under review” of the league’s personal conduct policy, and the Texans said they would stay in close contact with the NFL during the league’s investigation.
“Watson’s behavior is part of a disturbing pattern of preying on vulnerable women,” the third lawsuit reads.
Watson responded on Twitter on Tuesday night after Buzbee announced the filing of the first lawsuit, saying he rejected “a baseless six-figure settlement demand” and that this is “about clearing my name, and I look forward to doing that.” At the time of his statement, Watson said he had not seen the first lawsuit.
“I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect,” Watson said in his statement.
The third lawsuit alleges that Watson sent a direct message to the plaintiff over Instagram and then scheduled a massage for Dec. 28, 2020, at an office building in Houston.
After leaving the room, the massage therapist alleges she returned to find Watson lying on the massage table on his stomach with just a small towel covering his buttocks. She alleges that when Watson turned over midway through the massage, he “got more aggressive, forcefully telling her to move her hand down to his pubic area.”
The plaintiff alleges that she felt “intimidated and threatened” and “she was afraid of what someone like Watson could do if she did not submit to his demands.” She says in the lawsuit that Watson made it clear, repeatedly, that he could “help, or hurt, her career.” The lawsuit alleges that Watson forced the woman to perform oral sex on him, and that she “did not consent.”
Watson’s Houston-based attorney, Rusty Hardin, told ESPN he first learned of the lawsuits involving the quarterback Tuesday evening. Hardin said he spoke with Watson on Wednesday and agreed to represent 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 said after the first two lawsuits were filed. He added that “the allegations are really inconsistent with the kind of person he is.”
The women in the three lawsuits filed so far are suing Watson for compensatory and punitive damages, as well as court costs.
The Texans on Thursday again stated they are aware of the matter.
“The NFL informed us [Thursday] that they will conduct an investigation into the allegations made in the civil lawsuits filed against Deshaun Watson,” the team said. “We will stay in close contact with the league as they do. We continue to take this and all matters involving anyone within the Houston Texans organization seriously. We do not anticipate making any additional statements until the NFL’s investigation concludes.”
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