One of the lawsuits filed against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has accused him of "deleting Instagram messages and contacting those who formally provided him massages, in an attempt to settle," according to Sarah Barshop of ESPN.
Attorney Tony Buzbee said on Instagram last week that 20 lawsuits in total have now been filed against Watson; however, only 19 have appeared in public records.
Barshop reported three new lawsuits were officially filed and were available on the Harris County District Clerk's website as of Monday morning. According to Barshop, those lawsuits "accuse Watson of sexually assaulting women during massage sessions by 'purposely' touching them with his penis and state that his 'behavior is part of a disturbing pattern.'"
"Plaintiffs have not brought these cases for money or attention; instead Plaintiffs seek a change in behavior with regard to Watson, and a change of culture in the NFL," one of the lawsuits read.
Watson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, denied the allegations that there was any attempt made to settle the cases:
“Like a lot of people, Deshaun regularly deletes past Instagram messages,” Hardin said in a statement, via Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. “That said, he has not deleted any messages since March 15th, the day before the first lawsuit was filed. We categorically deny that he has reached out directly to his accusers in an attempt to settle these cases.”
“Opposing counsel’s continued statements that these cases aren’t about money do not square with the facts in at least two of these cases. It is incredibly irresponsible to continue to make these types of false allegations in this avalanche of anonymous lawsuits, particularly while we are still trying to find out who the accusers are. We will address these issues, and others raised in these cases, in our formal response to the court in the coming weeks.”
Last week, Hardin said in a statement that Buzbee has "orchestrated a circus-like atmosphere by using social media to publicize 14 'Jane Doe' lawsuits'" and that his law firm has "strong evidence" that one of the lawsuits against Watson is fabricated and "calls into question the legitimacy of the other cases as well."
All of the lawsuits against Watson accuse him of sexually inappropriate behavior with female masseuses or sexual assault.
"It would be inappropriate for the District Attorney's Office to comment on a civil lawsuit, and we refrain from publicly discussing allegations in any matter until and if a criminal charge is filed; we do this out of fairness to all," Harris County district attorney spokesperson Dane Schiller said in a statement.
NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy added "the matter is under review" at the league office.