UPDATED 3/31, 1:30 p.m. ET: An Arizona woman is the latest accuser claiming Deshaun Watson was sexually inappropriate with her during a massage session, TMZ reports.
The woman, who is using the pseudonym “Jane Doe,” filed what is now the 21st such lawsuit against the Texans QB, in which she alleges that he reached out to her over Instagram in 2020. Per TMZ, the lawsuit claims Watson has a “disturbing pattern of preying on vulnerable women.”
It alleges that Watson asked her to massage him in a “sexual way,” but after she declined, he ended the session. The woman described feeling “extremely uncomfortable and intimidated,” and “violated, degraded and disgusted,” by the encounter.
Meanwhile, Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, released a document featuring 18 massage therapists who vouch for Watson’s conduct.
“These women say they are deeply troubled by the accusations made against Deshaun and that these claims are wholly inconsistent with their experiences with him and who they believe him to be,” Hardin said, per TMZ. “All of them stated that Deshaun never made them feel uncomfortable or demanded anything outside the scope of a professional massage. None of them experienced any of the behavior alleged by anonymous plaintiffs in the numerous lawsuits filed by the same Houston attorney.”
ESPN reports that three new lawsuits accusing the Houston Texans quarterback of sexual assault and misconduct were filed on Sunday, and one alleges Watson has been deleting Instagram messages and contacting the women “who formally provided him massages, in attempt to settle.” The latest lawsuits have accused Watson of repeatedly and “purposely” touching and assaulting women during massages, demonstrating a “disturbing pattern” of predatory and abusive behavior.
“Plaintiffs have not brought these cases for money or attention; instead Plaintiffs seek a change in behavior with regard to Watson, and a change of culture in the NFL,” said Houston attorney Tony Buzbee, who filed one of the lawsuits.
Watson’s lawyer Rusty hardin, in a statement shared last week, asserted that “any allegation that Deshaun forced a woman to cmmit a sexual act is completely false.” He also suggested that the law firm has “strong evidence” that would call into question one of the 19 lawsuits.
In a statement shared earlier this month, Deshaun Watson denied the allegations leveled against him. “I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect,” he wrote in a statement. NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy has confirmed that “the matter is under review,” referring to the league’s personal conduct policy.
On Monday, another woman came forward about her experiences with Watson in an article from Sports Illustrated. Identified only as Mary, she was not among the women who filed a lawsuit, akthough she did detail an alleged incident of sexual assault involving him in 2019. “The one thing I keep thinking about is, he’s about to get traded to another place,” Mary said. “What if he goes to Atlanta or California or anywhere else? He would have a whole new community of massage therapists to target.”
She said that he did not touch her or force her into any sexual acts, but he did engage in inappropriate behavior of which she said she had never experienced before. Around 45 minutes into the session, she said he tossed his towel to the side to reveal he was completely nude beneath. “I was in shock,” she said. He later requested that the 90 minute massage session be extended, to which she refused. “There was one point that he did tell me that I could move [his penis] if I needed to, and I just completely ignored him,” she added.
The allegations were first leveled against Watson earlier this month when seven women filed lawsuits against him, including one woman who said he forced her to perform oral sex on him. The women offered professional massage services for work, and when they would turn up to sessions he booked he would reportedly engage in inappropriate sexual behavior. Many expressed fear for their safety in the alleged incidents.