4 more women sue Texans QB Watson alleging sex assault

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FILE - In this Dec. 27, 2020, file photo, Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson throws a pass during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Houston. Watson has been sued by four more women who accuse him of sexual assault and harassments. The lawsuits were filed Thursday night, March 18, 2021, hours after the NFL said it was investigating earlier allegations by three massage therapists who said the quarterback sexually assaulted them during massages. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson, File)

HOUSTON – Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has been sued by four more women who accuse him of sexual assault and harassment.

The lawsuits were filed Thursday night, hours after the NFL said it was investigating earlier allegations by three massage therapists who said the quarterback sexually assaulted them during massages.

The claims in the four new suits, which were filed in a Harris County state district court, mirror those in the three earlier cases. Each woman who sued Thursday worked in a spa or giving massages and claims that Watson exposed himself, touched them with his penis or kissed them against their will.

None of the seven women, who have sued separately but are all represented by Houston lawyer Tony Buzbee, are identified by name in the lawsuits. They are each seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well as court costs.

Watson, 25, has broadly denied that he acted inappropriately and said in a Tuesday statement that he looks forward to clearing his name. In a statement Friday, an attorney for Watson, Rusty Hardin, called the allegations “meritless.”

At a Friday news conference, Buzbee said he expects to file more lawsuits and his firm is vetting additional claims from women, including one involving an incident this month. None of his clients had filed police reports, he said, “but that is our next step.”

Buzbee said some of the massage therapists who came forward work at spas, some work from their homes, some work at deluxe hotels. All but one, who was flown in from Atlanta, were from the Houston area.

“These are, for the most part, licensed professionals. These are people that, many of them, are single mothers, either own their own shop or work in a spa,” while three clients are married and one is engaged to be married, he said.