Another lawsuit filed vs. Watson; total now at 22

Another lawsuit filed vs. Watson; total now at 22

1:49 PM ET

  • Sarah BarshopESPN Staff Writer

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    • Covered the Packers for ESPN Milwaukee
    • Marquette University graduate

HOUSTON — Another lawsuit has been filed against Deshaun Watson, this one alleging the Houston Texans quarterback assaulted a licensed aesthetician “by touching her with his penis and exposing himself.”

The lawsuit, filed Friday night and made available on the Harris County District Clerk’s website on Monday, said “Watson’s behavior is part of a disturbing and escalating pattern.” It was the 22nd lawsuit filed by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee since March 16.

The plaintiff alleges Watson “grabbed” her buttocks during a massage while his “penis was erect … and completely exposed.” The lawsuit alleges Watson told the massage therapist she had to sign a non-disclosure agreement before he would pay her for the massage.

The lawsuit says, “based on publicly available information, in a short time frame … Watson used more than fifty different women for massages” and alleges that “Watson selected all of these women via social media, mostly through Instagram and through SnapChat.” However, some of the lawsuits filed by Buzbee reference Watson booking a massage through a spa or through another referral.

Buzbee also has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday in which he says he “will address important and significant developments in the Deshaun Watson case.”

In a letter Monday to Texans season-ticket holders that is regularly sent in the spring, the McNair family addressed the civil lawsuits and a complaint filed with the Houston Police Department against Watson, saying, “We want to assure you that we take these allegations very seriously.

“While we await the conclusion of these investigations, we express our strong stance against any form of sexual assault,” the letter reads. “Our family and the entire Houston Texans organization are deeply troubled by any form of abuse and we condemn this type of behavior.”

Along with the 22 women who have filed lawsuits against Watson, 18 women released statements through Rusty Hardin, Watson’s lawyer, saying they have worked with the Texans quarterback and that he “never made them feel uncomfortable or demanded anything outside the scope of a professional massage.” Watson’s attorney said the statements were voluntary and from women who have collectively “worked with Deshaun more than 130 times over the past five years.”

It is unknown whether Buzbee has spoken to the additional 10 women he referenced when he wrote “Watson used more than fifty different women for massages” in Friday’s lawsuit.

On Friday, the Houston Police Department said in a statement that it has launched an investigation of Watson after a complainant filed a report.

“As with any allegation, the Houston Police Department is now conducting an investigation and will not comment further during the investigative process,” the department said in a statement. It did not specify what Watson is being accused of in the complaint.

Hardin said in a statement later on Friday that he and Watson will “fully cooperate with the Houston Police Department.”

“We welcome this long overdue development,” Hardin said. “Now we will learn the identity of at least one accuser. We will fully cooperate with the Houston Police Department.”

Buzbee, in a statement Friday, said he wasn’t personally involved in filing the report with police. He wrote on Instagram earlier last week that he didn’t feel comfortable going to the Houston Police Department with any information and that he and his clients “will go elsewhere to provide our evidence to investigative authorities.”

Watson has publicly denied any wrongdoing, and Hardin has said that he believes “any allegation that Deshaun forced a woman to commit a sexual act is completely false.”

The NFL said in a statement Friday that it is “continuing to monitor all developments” pertaining to the league’s personal conduct policy, and the Texans said in a statement that they would stay in close contact with the NFL during its investigation.