One of the women who sued Deshaun Watson and accused him of sexual misconduct also has sued Watson’s former NFL team, the Houston Texans, accusing the organization of enabling the quarterback’s behavior in massage sessions.
The lawsuit filed Monday is the first “of what will likely be many against the Houston Texans related to Deshaun Watson’s behavior,” the women’s attorney, Tony Buzbee, said Monday in a statement. “Suffice it to say, the overwhelming evidence collected indicating that the Houston Texans enabled Watson’s behavior is incredibly damning. We believe the Texans knew or most certainly should have known of Watson’s conduct. Beyond that, we believe the filing speaks for itself.”
Watson, now the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns, recently reached a confidential settlement with 20 of the 24 women who have sued him over his alleged sexual misconduct in massage sessions in 2020 and early 2021. He faces an NFL hearing over his conduct Tuesday, which could lead to a suspension of a year or more.
In this case, the plaintiff previously sued Watson, did not settle with him and now is suing the Texans, alleging that the team was part of a civil conspiracy and failed to supervise him or warn him of his conduct and proclivities.
She alleged Watson drove some 35 minutes to her mother’s home in Manvel, Texas, after he requested a massage from her on Instagram in November 2020. She had two encounters with him, and she said he exposed himself to her and ejaculated on her during the second encounter. The same woman testified before a grand jury in Brazoria County, Texas, in March, the second grand jury that chose not to indict him on criminal charges.
Watson, 26, has denied wrongdoing. The Texans issued a statement Monday.
“We are aware of the lawsuit filed against us today, the statement said. “Since March 2021, we have fully supported and complied with law enforcement and the various investigations. We will continue to take the necessary steps to address the allegations against our organization.”
The new lawsuit shared a different narrative.
“The Texans knew or should have known that, despite the vast massage and physical therapy resources available to Watson through the Texans organization, and despite the repeated admonitions to him from the Texans training staff to exclusively use the resources provided, Watson chose instead to find and engage his own ‘massage therapy’ women from Instagram, away from the Texans’ facilities,” the new lawsuit states. “The facts show that Watson repeatedly used Texans’ resources for that ‘therapy.’”
Those resources included rooms set up for him at the Houstonian Hotelmassage tables provided to him for private massage sessions and a nondisclosure agreement form provided to him from the head of Texans’ security, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also states the Texans removed a potentially explosive internet post that detailed Watson’s behavior with another women during a massage in 2020. Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, said the woman in that case improperly shared personal data of Watson online, leading the Texans to help protect Watson by providing him with a nondisclosure agreement form to use in massages.
The lawsuit said that the owner of the business that provides massage services to the Texans complained to the Texans that Watson was seeking out unqualified strangers for massages via Instagram. The lawsuit states the owner of that business, Genuine Touch, also was aware of what she described as Watson’s “towel trick” in massage sessions – his insistence on using a small towel rather than the standard draping.
“She even reported that alarming fact to the Texans, who did nothing about it,” the lawsuit states.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism