Deshaun Watson Facing Total of 12 Lawsuits Alleging Sexual Assault

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 19, 2021

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) looks to the sidelines during an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Zach Bolinger)
Zach Bolinger/Associated Press

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is facing a total of 12 lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct and sexual assault.

Per ESPN's Sarah Barshop on Friday, there are now seven civil lawsuits that have been filed against Watson by attorney Tony Buzbee on behalf of female massage therapists. 

During a press conference on Friday, Buzbee told reporters his law firm is "representing 12 women" in the case against Watson "and we will file five more cases in due course." He added that his firm has "spoken to more than 10 additional women" about allegations involving Watson. 

Buzbee also said that he's been contacted by Houston police about the case and will put together a packet of information for them, as well as for the NFL in its investigation: 

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

Tony Buzbee, attorney for a dozen women accusing Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct, says in a press conference he has been contacted by Houston police and intends to put together a packet for them, as well as cooperating with an NFL review under the personal conduct policy.

The Houston Police Department tweeted that to this point it hasn't had any contact with Buzbee nor have any incident reports regarding the allegations against Watson been filed in its jurisdiction:

Houston Police @houstonpolice

At this time, HPD is unaware of any contact between HPD and Houston attorney Tony Buzbee regarding the allegations contained in his recently filed lawsuits and no incident reports regarding these allegations have been filed in our jurisdiction.

Earlier this week, Benjamin Allbright of KOA NewsRadio in Colorado tweeted a screenshot of Buzbee's Instagram post in which the Houston-based attorney announced he filed the first lawsuit against Watson: 

Benjamin Allbright @AllbrightNFL

So this bombshell just came across my desk... https://t.co/SfxHFwDrpQ

He later added that he is aware of nine total cases against Watson.

Barshop noted that Buzbee said via text message "his office has been in contact with police and that he would provide information to the police about all nine of the women who intended to sue Watson."

After the first lawsuit became public, Watson issued a statement on his personal Twitter page denying any wrongdoing: 

"As a result of a social media post by a publicity-seeking plaintiff's lawyer, I recently became aware of a lawsuit that has apparently been filed against me. I have not yet seen the complaint, but I know this: I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect. The plaintiff's lawyer claims that this isn't about money, but before filing suit he made a baseless six-figure settlement demand, which I quickly rejected. Unlike him, this isn't about money for me ⁠– it's about clearing my name, and I look forward to doing that."

David Mulugheta, Watson's agent, issued a statement Friday after the most recent lawsuits were filed:

David Mulugheta @DavidMulugheta

Sexual assault is real. Victims should be heard, offenders prosecuted. Individuals fabricate stories in pursuit of financial gain often. Their victims should be heard, and those offenders also prosecuted. I simply hope we keep this same energy with the truth.

According to Barshop, all seven lawsuits that have been filed "depict a pattern of sexual assault against a massage therapist." One of the women has alleged Watson sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions. 

The first lawsuit against Watson was filed Wednesday, with Buzbee telling Isiah Carey of Fox 26 that Watson "went too far" while receiving a massage from a woman. 

Per TMZ Sports, a second masseuse said Watson "aggressively pursued sexual acts from her during a massage" in one of the lawsuits. 

A spokesperson for the Harris County district attorney's office told Barshop "that nobody from any law enforcement agency has provided information to the DA's office yet about the allegations involving Watson."

Buzbee will address the media Friday to provide additional background information about each of the lawsuits that have been filed. 

The Texans said in a statement Wednesday they have been made aware of a lawsuit against Watson and would await additional information before commenting further on the situation. 

The NFL announced Thursday it is investigating the allegations against Watson under the league's personal conduct policy.