Deshaun Watson Facing 16 Civil Lawsuits After 2 Additional Filings on Tuesday

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2021

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson walks off the field before an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Houston. Star quarterback Deshaun Watson has requested a trade from the Houston Texans, a person familiar with the move told The Associated Press. The person spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, because they weren’t authorized to discuss the request publicly. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

Two additional lawsuits alleging inappropriate conduct and sexual assault were filed against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson on Tuesday.

Watson now faces 16 lawsuits from various women, all of whom say Watson acted inappropriately and some of which allege sexual assault. Many of the women were massage therapists who alleged Watson hired them and then touched them with his penis or coerced them into performing other sexual acts.

Watson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, released a statement Tuesday saying "any allegation that Deshaun forced a woman to commit a sexual act is completely false."

"I want to emphasize at the outset that we and Deshaun recognize that sexual assault and harassment are not only unlawful, but morally wrong," Hardin said. "It takes courage for women to come forward to report being mistreated, particularly when they attach their names to a lawsuit. We do not take these allegations lightly. However, fairness to the accused is equally as important."

A woman who filed a lawsuit earlier this week described Watson as a "serial predator." Houston-area attorney Tony Buzbee is representing the growing number of women who have accused Watson of inappropriate conduct.

Watson initially sent out a statement March 16 denying what was then a lone lawsuit, saying he has "never treated any woman with anything but the utmost respect." He has not issued any further comments as the number of lawsuits has grown by the day, most of which detail a similar pattern of abuse.

The Texans and NFL have said they are aware of the lawsuits but will be holding further comment until more information is available.