HOUSTON – On Wednesday night, Houston attorney Tony Buzbee says a third case will be filed alleging misconduct by Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Buzbee filled the second lawsuit early Wednesday but said the third one is the “most egregious” to date. In a social media post, Buzbee said his team would file the third of what now is six cases on behalf of women against Watson.
“Our staff has received numerous calls. We screen each one, and I personally talk with and screen any individual on whose behalf we file. I’ve been doing this a long time. I don’t need ‘fame,’ and, to be quite honest, and I say this as modestly as I can, if I never made another penny I would be quite okay. Point is, I’m not pursuing these cases for the money, and every woman who has filed thus far has only plead the minimum amount to invoke the court’s jurisdiction ($500). This isn’t about the money,” the Buzbee’s post read, in part.
Buzbee said that since filing the first sexual assault case against Watson on Tuesday, he has received multiple death threats and multiple people have harassed his children.
“The blame the victim (or the lawyers) mentality is alive and well!! I love football as much as the next person (although I’ve never been a Texan fan). But I don’t love it that much. Makes me shake my head that people are so passionate about football to the point of irrationally, while at the same time they could care less who the mayor or president will be,” Buzbee’s social media post read, in part.
Inside 2nd lawsuit filed against Deshaun Watson
The second lawsuit, filed in Harris County District Court, claims Watson contacted the masseuse who operates her own massage therapy business in Atlanta, Georgia on Instagram on Aug. 14, 2020, and flew her to Houston for her services.
The lawsuit read in part: “Plaintiff routinely provides professional massages in people’s homes and hotels. Plaintiff had never had any type of contact with Defendant Watson prior to this message. Plaintiff had never worked with athletes from the Texans organization. Plaintiff found it somewhat peculiar that an NFL player would seek a message from her because she is not, yet a well-known masseuse and it was her belief that a player like Watson likely had access to an entire team of trainers. However, at the same time, because Plaintiff, like many small business people, had been actively trying to grow her business and expand her client base, Plaintiff was excited and encouraged that a professional football player would want to use her services.”
Watson and the masseuse exchanged several Instagram messages, the lawsuit claims, in which Watson described what he was looking for and told the masseuse that he wanted to specifically focus on his “glutes and his groin area and asked if she was comfortable with working on those areas.”
The lawsuit claims Watson and the masseuse continued their conversation over the phone and decided to schedule an appointment in Houston on Aug. 28, 2020, at the Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa.
Watson flew the masseuse to Houston from Atlanta, according to the lawsuit. When the masseuse met Watson at the hotel, the lawsuit claims, he got completely nude and got on the massage table with his “penis” completely exposed.
The lawsuit also claims Watson specifically asked the woman to work on the “inner part of his anus” and towards his “genitals.”
When Watson flipped over onto his back, the lawsuit claims, the masseuse handed him a towel to cover himself but he refused. Shortly after, the masseuse claims in the lawsuit that she became uncomfortable and stopped the massage and asked to leave.
“Watson grabbed her hand and started to rub her arm, pulling her towards him, saying ‘It is okay, it is okay.’ Plaintiff pulled away,” according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit says the masseuse only received half of her payment from Watson but was too disturbed to seek the other half. The suit also claims Watson reached out to the woman months later saying he was in Atlanta and asked if she was available.
The massage therapist is seeking “minimal compensatory damages” and has “suffered mental anguish as a result of Watson’s behavior,” the lawsuit reads. The lawsuit says she has always been a professional, but at times blames herself. The lawsuit says she has suffered panic attacks and suffers from depression and anxiety – all of which she is seeking counseling to address, the lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and notes that the plaintiff “made a good faith effort to resolve this matter prior to the filing of this lawsuit.”
The lawsuit outlines that all evidence – including electronic data, mapping data and location data – be preserved and maintained as it relates to this incident.
Read the full lawsuit (redacted for privacy reasons) below.
KPRC2 legal analyst Brian Wice says it will be up to a jury or judge to decide who is telling the truth.
“This is a case of he said she said,” Wice said. “The courthouse exists so that citizens can settle their differences based on proof because its not what we know, it’s what we can prove.”
The Houston Area Women’s Center also weighed in on the nature of these kinds of high-profile cases. Aly Jacobs, the executive director, said often times abuse goes unreported due to survivors fearing judgment or that no one would believe them. Jacobs also said that the center sees many cases where the perpetrator is well-liked and charismatic.
“Oftentimes with these abusive situations, the individual is someone who is well-liked, who is outgoing and likeable because that is the manipulation,” Jacobs said. “It is the most under-reported crime and that is because of the society that we live in. Blame is often whether intentionally or unintentionally placed on the survivor. We, as a society, ask questions like, ‘What were you wearing? Why did it take so long for you to report? Why were out at night by yourself?’”
Jacobs said the Houston Area Women’s Center is a place where any survivor of abuse can get resources and help. The Houston Area Women’s Center has a has 24-hour sexual violence hotlines that survivors can call to get support. The number is 713-528-7275.
Watson responded to reports of the first lawsuit filed on Tuesday, saying in a tweet that the he has not seen the complaint made against him, but says he has never treated any woman with anything other than “upmost respect” and looks forward to clearing his name.
The Watson cases remain allegations at this point in the legal process.