Over the course of just two weeks, nearly two dozen women have come forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. These allegations, which were made in lawsuits and, in several cases, echoed by accusers’ public statements, describe a similar M.O. on Watson’s part. These women, who provide professional massage services for work, were contacted by Watson or an intermediary. They then scheduled massage sessions. When these sessions took place, they alleged, Watson acted inappropriately. These women have described feeling fearful, with some worried about Watson’s physical size and others concerned his prominence could make the decision to come forward difficult.
The NFL has been criticized in court papers, with initial lawsuits claiming 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 the allegations. No criminal charges have been revealed. Here’s what we know about the allegations after several weeks of twists and turns.