Houston attorney Tony Buzbee, who is representing 22 women who have filed lawsuits against Deshaun Watson alleging sexual assault or misconduct, has denied he is seeking settlements on behalf of his clients.
In a post on Instagram, Buzbee wrote he never approached Rusty Hardin, Watson's lawyer, about possibly settling the lawsuits.
"When they approached us they insisted we sign this [non-disclosure agreement]," Buzbee said. "We obviously didn’t reach out to them; they begged us via the Texans to mediate. We hold the cards. The truth sometimes or most of the time hurts!!!! We approached them?!? My ass."
On Thursday, Hardin released a statement saying that Buzbee approached his office "on numerous occasions in the past" about the possibility of a settlement:
Sarah Barshop of ESPN reported Friday that text messages and a recording revealed a member of Buzbee's legal team recently reached out to the quarterback's camp to discuss the case. Barshop noted it was an attempt by Buzbee's team at "working things out" between the two sides.
A total of 23 women who said Watson hired them for massage services have filed lawsuits against Watson alleging sexual assault or misconduct, but one plaintiff withdrew her case citing "privacy and security concerns" after a judge ruled the women had to identify themselves in their suits, per Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today.
The lawsuits were filed between March 16-April 14.
Per Barshop, Hardin filed a response to the lawsuits last month denying the accusations made against Watson.
The response claimed that Watson's legal team has "already uncovered evidence that numerous allegations in this onslaught of cases are simply not true or accurate."
The NFL opened an investigation into Watson last month under the league's personal conduct policy.