There are 24 Deshaun Watson Allegation filed, accusing him of inappropriate conduct and sexual assault since the Browns acquired him. The 1st 3 lawsuits were filed in March 2021 by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee in connection with distinct instances including allegations from multiple massage therapists.
According to ESPN’s Sarah Barshop, Buzbee stated in one of the cases that Watson’s actions are part of a disturbing record of preying on vulnerable women. Watson has been accused of sexual misconduct ranging from unwanted groping to forced oral sex in all of the complaints.
A grand jury in Harris County, Texas, declined to indict Watson on criminal charges relating to the allegations in March 2022, allowing the Texans to trade Watson to the Browns a few days later.
As per Fox 8, Cleveland reported a grand jury in a different Texas county was assembled to investigate charges stemming from a complaint filed by one of the women involved in the civil cases, but the grand jury declined to indict Watson.
The Grand Jury for Brazoria County had declined to charge Deshaun Watson with any crimes after a careful and thorough examination of the information and evidence contained in the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office and the Houston Police Department, as well as hearing testimony from witnesses, said Brazoria County District Attorney Tom Selleck in a statement.
1. Derrick Deshaun Watson
American football quarterback Deshaun Watson plays for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL).
The Houston Texans organization took Watson in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Following a promising debut season cut short by injury, Watson guided the Texans to back-to-back division victories in 2018 and 2019.
He was selected for the Pro Bowl in each of his three seasons as Houston’s starting quarterback. He holds the record for the best career completion percentage (minimum 1500 attempts) and the second-highest career passer rating.
Due to conflicts with the Texans’ executive staff and several allegations of sexual misbehavior, Watson was suspended for the whole 2021 season, which ultimately resulted in a trade to the Browns.
2. Deshaun Watson Allegation: Sexual Misconduct
In civil lawsuits filed in Harris County, Texas, or criminal complaints made to the Houston police, more than two dozen women alleged that Watson assaulted them while receiving massages.
Tony Buzbee, the lawyer representing 24 of the women who sued Watson, claims that most allegations of sexual misbehavior and coercive behavior against Watson have mostly been echoed by one another.
Read on to find out everything about Deshaun Watson’s Allegations of sexual misconduct and the filed civil lawsuits:
2.1. Deshaun Watson Allegation: Lawsuits 1 & 2
Buzbee filed the first two lawsuits in Harris County, Texas. The first lawsuit was based on an alleged incident at a massage therapist’s house in March 2020, while the second is based on an alleged incident at The Houstonian Hotel, Club, and Spa in August 2020. The plaintiffs in both instances are Jane Doe, are female massage therapists
Watson is accused of civil assault in both instances for exposing himself and touching the plaintiffs with his penis. According to both cases, the plaintiffs became uncomfortable during the massages, and the women interrupted their sessions after Watson acted improperly.
According to the claims, they did not reply to any more efforts at communication with Watson, who set up the meetings using Instagram direct messaging. According to the first lawsuit, it became clear that Watson only wanted a massage for one purpose, i.e., sex.
Watson allegedly told the plaintiff in the March 2020 incident that he knew they had a job and a reputation, and he knew they would hate for someone to tamper with theirs, just like he doesn’t want anyone messing with his.
According to the lawsuit, she interpreted Watson’s remark as a threat. The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages to prevent Watson from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
2.2. Deshaun Watson Allegation: Lawsuit 3
The third complaint relates to an alleged event in December 2020 at a Houston office building. Jane Doe was the name of the plaintiff in the lawsuit.
While the third lawsuit accuses Watson of acting similarly toward the massage therapist, it also claims that Watson became increasingly aggressive, forcing her to move her hand down to his genital area.
Watson allegedly forced the lady, who felt intimidated and frightened, to have oral sex on him, and she did not consent, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit reads that the Plaintiff wishes she could have been more daring and ended the massage. However, she felt helpless at the time, and Watson was in charge of Plaintiff.
2.3. Deshaun Watson Allegation: Lawsuit 4 to 7
On March 19, four more civil actions were filed against Watson, increasing the total number of lawsuits against him to seven. According to Barshop, three of the four cases claim Watson had inappropriate contact with women during massage sessions. The fourth allegation is that Watson kissed a lady against her consent.
2.4. Deshaun Watson Allegation: Lawsuit 8 to 14
On March 22, seven new civil cases were filed, including one accusing Watson of sexually assaulting a woman in March 2021. The seven lawsuits allege acts that occurred between April 2020 and March 2021. The 14th lawsuit claims that the Plaintiff believes that Watson is a serial predator.
2.5. Deshaun Watson Allegation: Lawsuit 15 to 19
On March 23, lawsuits 15 and 16 were filed, alleging conduct similar to that outlined by earlier claimants. On March 28, three more claims were filed, saying that Watson had intentionally touched women with his penis.
Watson was deleting Instagram messages and contacting those who formally offered him massages, in an attempt to settle, according to one of the claims.
Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, said that Watson had not reached out directly to his accusers in an attempt to settle these matters and that Watson had not erased any Instagram messages since March 15.
2.6. Deshaun Watson Allegation: Lawsuit 20 & 21
According to Barshop, two further claims were filed on March 30, one alleging Watson touched a massage therapist, coerced her into oral sex, and ejaculated on her.
After the 2 lawsuits were brought, Hardin submitted testimonials from eighteen women who claimed that Watson never made them feel uncomfortable or asked anything that went beyond the scope of a professional massage.
2.7. Deshaun Watson Allegation: Lawsuit 22
Lawsuit 22 said that Watson assaulted and harassed the plaintiff by grabbing her with his penis exposing himself. Also, Watson allegedly utilized more than 50 different ladies for massages in a short period.
Hardin was granted two petitions for hearings on April 8 to determine if Buzbee should be required to reveal the accusers’ identities, according to Barshop. The hearings were held on April 9, and the judges ruled that 13 of the individuals’ identities must be revealed.
In a statement, Rusty Hardin added that Tony Buzbee’s use of anonymous lawsuits violates Texas law and the basic sense of justice. In one court document, Hardin stated that knowing the identity of the women is the only way Watson can fully defend himself.
2.8. Deshaun Watson Allegation: Lawsuit 23
The 23rd lawsuit was filed on April 14, a day after Hardin told reporters that one of the first 22 lawsuits had been dismissed.
Using information from the Houston Chronicle, Pro Football Talk reports that the plaintiff in the present case is a Houston cosmetics artist who alleges Watson sexually attacked and harassed her during massage sessions.
Watson allegedly requested her to touch his penis and then groped her and tried to kiss her, according to the lady.
2.9. Deshaun Watson Allegation: Lawsuit 24
Dispute 24 was instituted on May 31, 2022. It happened after two accusers appeared on HBO’s, Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. According to ESPN, the plaintiff in the 24th case claimed that Ashley Solis and Kyla Hayes‘ courage in speaking with Soledad O’Brien about their allegations left her shocked. She said that she was very upset with Watson and his legal team for mistreating and revictimizing the plaintiffs.
According to ESPN, the complainant, a massage therapist, accused him of sexual assault throughout three meetings in 2020. The lawsuit claims that Watson exposed himself to the woman and touched her between the legs after repeatedly demanding to have sex with her.
According to Pro Football Talk, Hardin stated that Watson “vehemently denies the charges just as he has since she initially discussed them with members of our firm in March of last year.”
2.10. Deshaun Watson Allegation: Lawsuit 25
There are 24 claims against Watson after one of the original lawsuits were dismissed; nevertheless, the plaintiff reserves the right to refile this case if issues with privacy and security are resolved. Additionally, ten women have complained to the police about Watson; eight of those ten women are plaintiffs in legal actions.
On June 6, 2022, Buzbee filed a lawsuit 25 (titled lawsuit 24 as one of the 22 was dismissed) in Harris County, Texas. In the case, the plaintiff, a massage therapist, claimed that Watson visited her at her apartment twice in August 2020 for two sessions. During the second appointment, the plaintiff alleged that Watson masturbated in front of her and ejaculated on her.
The lawsuit claims that Watson provided no apology or justification for his actions. Instead, he dressed, gave the plaintiff money via Cash App, and then walked out. As a direct consequence, the plaintiff was subjected to anxiety as well as humiliation.
3. Tony Buzbee
Tony Buzbee is a lawyer at The Buzbee Law Firm in Houston. According to his background on The Buzbee Law Firm website, he is a former Marine officer who completed law school at the University of Houston Law Center.
He has worked with several high-profile clients, including Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas. He has also run for public office before, most recently in an unsuccessful bid for mayor of Houston against incumbent Sylvester Turner in 2019.
3.1. Buzbee: Deshaun Watson Allegation
On March 19, 2021, Buzbee announced to the media that he had spoken with the Houston Police Department. He also mentioned that none of the women he represented had previously met with the police.
However, on March 19, 2021, the Houston Police Department tweeted that it was unaware of any interaction between HPD and Houston attorney Tony Buzbee in a statement.
3.2. Buzbee’s Disappointment with the Houston Police Department
Buzbee announced in an Instagram post that he no longer intends to cooperate with the Houston Police Department. He said that while they had sent information to other organizations, these many brave ladies haven’t officially filed criminal complaints with HPD.
He continued addressing his concern saying that during his unsuccessful mayoral campaign in Houston, he demanded the resignation of the outgoing police chief.
Because of this, even though his brother-in-law was a long-serving HPD officer, he was initially hesitant to provide information to HPD in these crucial cases.
He added that he subsequently discovered that Rusty Hardin, his adversary in court, has a son who serves on the HPD’s restricted Command Staff. He said that he doesn’t want to imply in any way that Mr. Hardin, Deshaun Watson’s attorney, has a child in a position that could jeopardize HPD’s investigation.
However, he believes the rank and file in Houston police knew that he supported his service as do all of the officers there. But he was stating that he would travel somewhere else with his clients to give investigators his proof.
4. Deshaun Watson Allegation: HPD Statement
Houston police tweeted on April 2, 2021, that a complaint had been made against Watson and that the department was looking into it. The Houston Police Department announced that Deshaun Watson was the subject of a complaint that was submitted to the Houston Police Department that day and they would look into the accusation, as with any allegation, and won’t make any other comments while the investigation was ongoing.
Buzbee revealed to The Washington Post that three of Watson’s accusers had spoken with Houston police. This brings the total number of women who have spoken with local law enforcement to at least five.
5. Deshaun Watson Allegation: His Justification Tweet
On March 16, 2021, Watson made the following comment on Twitter concerning the filed police complaints against him. He said in a statement that he had recently learned of an alleged lawsuit against him due to a publicity-seeking plaintiff’s attorney’s social media post.
He said he hadn’t seen the complaint then, but he can assure us that he had always treated women with the utmost respect.
Although the plaintiff’s attorney insists this is not a financial dispute, he made an absurd six-figure settlement demand before bringing the lawsuit, which he swiftly turned down. Unlike them, this wasn’t about the money, and he was rather interested in restoring his reputation. He also said that he had no intentions of settling the civil suits.
6. Deshaun Watson Allegation: Hardin’s Words on Representing Him
On March 17, 2021, Hardin said, he spoke with Watson and the two of them agreed that Hardin would defend Watson. He said that Deshaun Watson had a wonderful reputation there in the Houston region, and the charges are completely contradictory with the kind of person he is, adding that he was comfortable with the kind of guy that Deshaun Watson was, and he didn’t like to comment until he knew all the facts publicly.
On March 23, 2021, Rusty Hardin released a more thorough statement to TMZ Sports. She stated that he wanted to stress right away that Deshaun and he both agree that sexual assault and harassment are ethically reprehensible in addition to being against the law.
Women must have the guts to come forward and expose mistreatment, especially if they sign their names to a lawsuit. We take these accusations seriously. Fairness to the accused, however, is as crucial.
Addressing further Hardin continued stating that to incite the public and damage Deshaun’s otherwise impeccable reputation, opposing counsel used social media to broadcast 14 Jane Doe lawsuits over the last seven days, creating a circus-like atmosphere.
Finding the truth has also become incredibly challenging due to the strategy of refusing their requests for the plaintiffs’ names to be provided in confidence so that they can thoroughly research their claims.
Although anonymity is frequently required as a barrier for victims, Deshaun has been publicly humiliated by the opposing counsel before the truth-seeking process has even started.
Any claims that Deshaun coerced a woman into a sexual act, in his opinion, were wholly untrue. Furthermore, he also stated that they had compelling evidence that the accusation was incorrect in the one instance when they were able to identify the plaintiff.
A woman attempted to blackmail Deshaun in January of that year by requesting $30,000 in exchange for her indefinite quiet over what she claimed to be a consensual meeting. This raises doubts about the other cases’ veracity as well.
Many certified massage therapists who have recently worked with Deshaun had sent them a tonne of unsolicited compliments in the last week. According to these women, he was a gentleman and a great client who never displayed inappropriate behavior. Before these sleazy allegations, everyone who knew Deshaun praised him for being an exceptional, courteous, and sensitive man.
Lastly, Hardin closed stating that they took the claims very seriously, but all they asked was no one should rush to judgment, the theatrics of opposing counsel unduly sways no one, and that basic fairness to both sides prevails.
On April 19, 2021, Hardin responded to the civil complaints, stating that Watson’s legal team had uncovered information that numerous charges in this barrage of litigation were just not factual or correct.
7. Rusty Hardin
Rusty Hardin, a former state prosecutor for Texas who switched to defense work, has defended several well-known clients, including professional athletes and Arthur Andersen in the Enron affair. During the investigation into the Whitewater scandal that the Clinton administration was conducting, he also made contributions to the independent counsel’s office.
He has defended several athletes, including football running back Adrian Peterson, who was charged with felony child abuse in 2014, baseball pitcher Roger Clemens, who was accused of lying under oath, and many other famous personalities as well.
8. Deshaun Watson Allegation: Disciplinary Actions Taken
In a settlement with the NFL on August 18, Watson was found guilty of sexual misconduct and was given an 11-game suspension without pay as well as a $5 million fine. This brought an end to the league’s investigation into the allegations.
Watson was initially given a six-game suspension on August 1 by retired judge Robinson determined that Watson’s actions violated the league’s personal conduct policy and were both predatory and egregious, but she said that the N.F.L.’s regulations and earlier rulings precluded her from handing down a harsher punishment.
Many people, including legal professionals and proponents of victims’ rights, believed that her decision was too mild and did not adequately address the entire range of Watson’s allegations. Two days after Robinson’s decision was made public, the league appealed it.
The 11-game suspension was the result of a settlement in which representatives from Watson’s legal team and the players’ union participated. Watson was also required to participate in a treatment program after undergoing a behavioral expert evaluation. He was required to donate his fine, $1 million from the league and his team, the Cleveland Browns, to organizations that fight sexual assault.
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10. Closing Thoughts
Deshaun Watson denied all of the allegations including that he forced women to perform oral sex or any of the other criminal charges against him. We can never know if Watson forced any of the Plaintiffs but hope for the criminal investigation to provide justice.
Watson’s sponsors suspended their endorsement with him including Nike. The criminal investigations and the civil lawsuit have impacted majorly concerning his reputation. Some consider him guilty and some are in his favor. What do you guys think? Are you still a fan? Comment down your thoughts.
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