This week, seven women filed lawsuits against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson alleging sexual misconduct—including one woman who said the NFL star forced her to perform oral sex on him. The civil lawsuits, filed in Harris County, Texas District Court, describe a similar pattern. These women, who perform professional massage services for work, were contacted by Watson. They scheduled massage sessions. When these women showed up to the sessions, Watson ultimately engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior, court papers allege. The women described feeling scared; some described worrying about his physical size, while others expressed fear because of his prominence.
These lawsuits have also called out the NFL, saying it’s “notorious in its own right for a culture that fosters sexual harassment and sexual assault. Despite its lip service and a strong ad campaign to the contrary, many of its players have been accused of committing heinous sexual crimes against women. The NFL is no stranger to scandal, certainly when it comes to offenses against women.”
Watson has denied mistreating women. Here’s what we know about the allegations so far.