Deshaun Watson's lawyer has filed motions requesting emergency hearings to request that all of the women accusing the Houston Texans quarterback of sexual assault and misconduct re-file their lawsuits under their real names.
Per ESPN's Sarah Barshop, two of Hardin's motions were granted and will be heard in Harris County District Court on Friday at 8:45 a.m. ET and 12 p.m. ET.
Barshop noted that Hardin had to file separate motions because each of the lawsuits against his client was filed individually.
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reported the initial filing by Rusty Hardin pertains to a lawsuit filed by a woman identified as Jane Doe No. 7.
Hardin also issued a statement about his filings, via Florio:
“We have said this before and we want to say it again. Deshaun did not force, coerce or intimidate anyone to do anything against their will. When we asked Mr. Buzbee to identify his clients weeks ago, he refused and told us to file a motion. Today we filed that motion. As discussed in our filing, Mr. Buzbee’s use of anonymous lawsuits violates Texas law and the basic concept of fairness. It is clear that, for Mr. Buzbee, this case has never been about seeking justice in a courtroom, but destroying Deshaun’s reputation to enhance his own public profile and enrich himself. While I understand that anonymity often is used as a shield for victims, Mr. Buzbee is using it as a sword. While shielding his clients from public scrutiny, Mr. Buzbee continues to use their anonymous allegations to destroy Mr. Watson. This is simply not right. And we look forward to resolving these matters in court.”
According to Barshop, Hardin's motion for an emergency hearing is because Watson has to provide a response to the initial lawsuit by April 19 and "due to plaintiff's counsel's repeated refusals to identify for Mr. Watson's counsel the real name of Ms. Doe, Mr. Watson's counsel cannot fully evaluate or plead his defenses to her claims."
Tony Buzbee, an attorney based in Houston, has filed 22 different lawsuits since March 16 on behalf of women accusing Watson of sexual assault or misconduct.
Another woman, who is a licensed massage therapist and not one of Buzbee's clients, told Sports Illustrated's Jenny Vrentas that Watson engaged in similar "inappropriate" behavior during a session with her in 2019.
During a press conference on Tuesday, two of Buzbee's clients, Ashley Solis and Lauren Baxley, publicly identified themselves as plaintiffs and issued statements about their allegations against Watson.
"I hope he knows how much pain he has inflicted on me emotionally and physically," Solis said.
At the press conference, Solis was identified as the first woman to file a lawsuit against Watson.
After the first lawsuit was filed against him on March 16, Watson issued a statement on Twitter denying the allegations and any wrongdoing.
Texans chairman Cal McNair issued a statement to season-ticket holders on April 5 that the organization takes "these allegations [against Watson] very seriously" and is cooperating with investigations by the Houston Police Department and NFL.
The NFL informed the Texans on March 18 it has opened an investigation into the allegations against Watson under the personal conduct policy.
The Houston Police Department launched an investigation on April 2 after a complaint was filed against Watson, though the nature of the complaint was not announced.