Two separate civil lawsuits have been filed against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson alleging inappropriate conduct during massages.
According to the first lawsuit, which appeared on the Harris county district clerk’s website on Wednesday, the plaintiff says then 24-year-old touched her with his penis and “intentionally or knowingly caused physical contact with Plaintiff when Watson knew, or should have reasonably known, that Plaintiff would regard such contact as offensive” in March 2020.
Watson has responded to what he describes as “a baseless six-figure settlement demand”. On Tuesday night, before the lawsuit became public, he said in a statement posted to social media that: “I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect.”
The first suit alleges Watson booked the session in the massage therapist’s home and, after she left the room briefly, she returned to find the quarterback with only a small towel covering his groin. The lawsuit claims that Watson then exposed himself and “it became apparent that Watson wanted a massage for only one reason – sex.” Watson is alleged to have sent her a text after being told to leave, apologizing for his actions.
The second lawsuit, also filed on Wednesday by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee, allegedly took place under similar circumstances on 28 August 2020.
“Watson’s behavior is part of a disturbing pattern of preying on vulnerable women,” the second complaint reads.
Buzbee said on Instagram on Wednesday there are now four total cases against Watson, although only two lawsuits have been filed to date.
The Texans, who Watson has been trying to leave after becoming unhappy with the way the team is run, said they are aware of the allegations.
“We became aware of a civil lawsuit involving Deshaun Watson through a social media post last night,” the team’s statement said. “This is the first time we heard of the matter, and we hope to learn more soon. We take accusations of this nature that involve anyone within the Houston Texans organization seriously. We will await further information before making any additional statements on this incident.”
Watson, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, signed a four-year, $156m deal with the Texans last year. Following the trade of All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins last spring and changes to the coaching staff and front office, Watson raised concerns about his lack of a voice in the franchise and is reportedly frustrated by the general direction of the team.
General manager Nick Caserio and head coach David Culley have said Watson won’t be traded.
Houston signed veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor to a one-year deal on Wednesday.