HOUSTON (WJW) – Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson denies having sex with any of the 18 massage therapists who have publicly supported him following the filing of 22 civil lawsuits by women alleging misconduct. sex during massage sessions.
In April, a Texas judge ruled that Watson must say whether or not he had sex with the 18 therapists. His answer to this and other questions was given to the lawyer representing the 22 accusers.
“We continue to assert that the sexual history of third parties who allege no wrongdoing against Mr. Watson is completely irrelevant,” said Leah Graham, who is one of the attorneys, with Rusty Hardin representing Watson. “We believe the court order sets a dangerous precedent and effectively punishes those who had the courage to identify and stand with the defendant at a time when Mr Watson was being slandered by women who unduly hid behind the shield of anonymity. Although we seriously considered appealing, we ultimately decided not to. Instead, as per the court order, we responded and served our responses on May 6, 2022. And in accordance with the therapists’ public statements, Mr. Watson did not engage in any form of sexual relations with the 18 therapists who shared their experiences working with him and provided the context necessary to assess the complainants’ allegations. »
While two grand juries declined to indict the 26-year-old on any criminal charges, he still faces 22 civil lawsuits from women accusing him of sexual misconduct.
“We’re going to slowly peel away every layer of this onion,” said attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents the 22 accusers. “We’re going to put it on display for everyone to see.”
Buzbee also said that in a deposition taken on May 13, Watson said the massage therapist had “tears in his eyes” when the session ended.
“After the session she cut short, he texted an apology,” Buzbee said. “And he had to explain the text, why did you text the therapist apologizing?”
According to the transcript of the deposition obtained by the FOX 8 I-Team, the text read, “Sorry to make you feel uncomfortable. Never the intentions. Let me know if you want to work in the future. My excuses.”
In that May 13 deposition, Watson said the therapist ended the session and he didn’t know why.
“And then I was, ‘Okay. That’s fine.’ And then she walked out. And like I said, I got dressed. And that was it. So it wasn’t — I didn’t think about it too much,” Watson said in the deposition.
He was then asked if the therapist was crying? And he said “no”.
“It was just, I don’t know, it was just watery eyes,” Watson’s deposition said. “She wasn’t like crying or playing ball or anything like that. It was watery eyes. And I was confused about what was going on.
He further added that he sent the text because he was trying to figure out why she had tears in her eyes.
“Honestly, I’m still trying to figure it out until today,” Watson said. “You see it in the text messages. She said she felt uncomfortable. I don’t know why she felt uncomfortable, but I still don’t know. I still do not know.
Lawyers for both sides say no trial is likely to take place until next spring.
The NFL is still investigating whether Watson violated the league’s personal conduct policy. League investigators are speaking with Watson this week and it is unclear when the investigation will be complete. If investigators find he violated league policy, he could be suspended.
Buzbee added that he has more information to be released on the case soon, including allegations that Watson paid someone to arrange massages for him.
“The walls are closing in on Deshaun Watson,” Buzbee said.
But Watson’s lawyers disagree that the quarterback did nothing wrong.
“Deshaun Watson is a compassionate and caring person,” Graham said. “He has not done what is alleged and he is eager to clear his name.”
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