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Friday, April 23, 2021
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Additional lawsuits filed against Texans Quarterback Deshaun Watson

HOUSTON – Four more lawsuits have been filed against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, alleging similar inappropriate conduct and sexual assault to the previous three that had been filed.

This brings the total to seven lawsuits filed against Watson by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee, who has said on Instagram that there are nine total cases against Watson. Buzbee told ESPN on Thursday via text message that his office has been in contact with police and that he would provide information to the police about all nine of the women who intend to sue Watson.

Houston police declined to comment to ESPN whether they’re investigating the matter. A spokesperson for the Harris County district attorney’s office told ESPN on Thursday that nobody from any law enforcement agency has provided information to the DA’s office yet about the allegations involving Watson.

Buzbee will address the media in Houston on Friday afternoon when he says he will provide some background about the seven lawsuits that have been filed and provide copies of multiple texts and messages relating to the suits.

After Buzbee’s announcement of the first lawsuit on Tuesday, Watson responded on Twitter by saying that 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.

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.

The seven lawsuits filed so far depict a pattern of sexual assault against a massage therapist. While six of the lawsuits allege these were one-time encounters with Watson, one woman alleges she was sexually assaulted by Watson on multiple occasions. That lawsuit says the first massage was booked through the spa where the licensed aesthetician worked. The six other lawsuits allege Watson first inquired about the massage through Instagram direct messages.

Three of the four lawsuits filed Thursday night accuse him of inappropriate contact; the fourth said he forcibly tried to kiss a woman.

“Watson’s behavior is part of a disturbing pattern of preying on vulnerable women,” the fourth lawsuit reads.

Watson’s agent, David Mulugheta, posted on Twitter on Friday.

“Sexual assault is real. Victims should be heard, offenders prosecuted,” Mulugheta posted Friday. “Individuals fabricate stories in pursuit of financial gain often. Their victims should be heard, and those offenders also prosecuted. I simply hope we keep this same energy with the truth.”

The Texans on Thursday again said 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.”

ESPN | Sarah Barshop

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