Texans Subject of Lawsuit Regarding Handling of Alleged Deshaun Watson Misconduct

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJune 27, 2022

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 16: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Cleveland Browns runs a drill during the Cleveland Browns mandatory minicamp at FirstEnergy Stadium on June 16, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)
Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

A lawsuit has been filed against the Houston Texans claiming the organization enabled Deshaun Watson's alleged acts of sexual assault and misconduct when he was with the team.

Attorney Tony Buzbee, who has represented 24 women in their lawsuits against Watson, released a statement Monday saying he expects "many" more suits against the Texans.

Jake Trotter @Jake_Trotter

Tony Buzbee issues statement, saying the first case has been filed against Houston Texans: <a href="https://t.co/6D6yPTtbmp">pic.twitter.com/6D6yPTtbmp</a>

The move was expected, with Buzbee previously releasing a statement saying he expected the Texans to be added to lawsuits against Watson. Twenty of the 24 lawsuits facing Watson were settled last week.

Jenny Vrentas of the New York Times reported on the Texans' involvement in Watson's alleged misconduct. Per Vrentas, the team provided a venue for some appointments the quarterback had with masseuses. The team is also alleged to have given Watson a nondisclosure agreement for a woman who is now accusing him of misconduct.

Watson has maintained his innocence, saying any sexual contact he had with the women was consensual. Two different grand juries declined to press charges against him, and Watson is not expected to be facing any further criminal inquiries.

It's unclear whether the Texans were aware of Watson's conduct. The team allegedly used the same Houston-area massage parlor on four occasions to book massages for Watson. One woman also said the NDA given to some masseuses was provided by Texans security.

While many of the women chose not to move forward with either criminal or civil lawsuits, others described Watson as being aggressively suggestive or committing acts of sexual assault in order to take the massages to a sexual level. In his own deposition, Watson admitted the expertise of the massage therapists was "not a priority" to him.

Despite the ongoing litigation, the Cleveland Browns traded several draft picks and lavished Watson with a fully guaranteed $230 million contract in March.

The NFL is currently investigating Watson under its Personal Conduct Policy. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the league is expected to push for a "lengthy" suspension of Watson when his disciplinary hearing begins Tuesday.