Deshaun Watson’s defense against sexual assault lawsuits begins to surface
Deshaun Watson’s lawyer: Response to sexual assault claims coming next week
Star NFL QB now facing sexual assault allegations from 12 women
NFL star’s agent responds to increasing count of sexual assault allegations
NFL investigating sexual assault claims made against star QB
Deshaun Watson’s lawyer said Friday he will publicly address the allegations of sexual assault levied against the Houston Texans’ quarterback in the coming days, but portions of their defense strategy against multiple civil lawsuits are beginning to emerge.
Watson is “adamant” he didn’t sexually assault any of the various women who have filed civil lawsuits against him in Harris County, Texas, TMZ reported Saturday, citing multiple sources connected to the quarterback.
On Friday, the number of sexual assault claims filed against Watson increased to seven, with five more pending, according to the victims’ lawyer Tony Buzbee, who added he has spoken to 10 additional women who still need to be vetted.
According to Buzbee, the three-time Pro Bowler assaulted the massage therapists, with one alleging she was forced to perform oral sex on Watson.
Another alleged that “it became apparent that Watson wanted a massage for only one reason — sex,” adding that he acted in an “aggressive” manner and touched her with his genitalia.
The majority of the women who already have filed suits have claimed that Watson initially contacted them through Instagram. Watson’s side told TMZ that he only contacted the women via social media because his regular masseuse was unavailable due to the COVID pandemic.
Watson asked various acquaintances for recommendations, and the sources added that Watson “put an emphasis on privacy” and specified the areas he wanted massaged “to make sure the masseuse was comfortable and to ensure things stayed professional,” TMZ reported.
At least one masseuse said in her complaint that she found it “somewhat peculiar” that a “NFL player would seek a massage from her, because she is not a yet a well-known masseuse.”
Sources close to Watson also told the website that the 25-year-old “insists he never crossed the line” with the alleged victims, and he “strongly believes they’re being led by a money-hungry attorney who’s looking for a payout.”
That was in line with what Watson said Tuesday on Twitter, when he wrote that he “never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect” in his first and only public comments regarding the allegations.
Watson, who inked a four-year extension worth $156 million in 2020, isn’t looking to reach monetary settlements with the women, the TMZ report stated, and “he doesn’t want to give them a cent because he’s adamant he didn’t do anything wrong.”
Watson’s lawyer Rusty Hardin said Friday in a press conference that the various allegations are “meritless” and asked people to “keep an open mind” until they have an opportunity to publicly address them next week.
The NFL on Thursday said it was investigating the allegations involving Watson.
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