HOUSTON, Ohio (WJW) – Another woman has filed a lawsuit against Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson alleging sexual misconduct, Nexstar’s WJW has learned.
This marks the 23rd lawsuit against the 26-year-old NFL star. All have been filed by women who gave Watson massages.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Harris County District Court. The woman is represented by Attorney Tony Buzbee, the same attorney who represents the other 22 women.
In the new case, a woman claims she had “three encounters” with Watson. The suit says “Watson’s behavior grew worse during every massage.”
The newest lawsuit also says the woman “agonized over whether to bring a lawsuit against Watson, understanding that there will be those who blame her for Watson’s inappropriate… conduct.”
The suit claims this woman finally went ahead with the filing after seeing Watson publicly deny doing anything wrong. Watson responded to questions from WJW at a news conference, saying he had never disrespected any women.
He couldn’t understand how so many women ended up taking legal action against him.
Buzbee said Tuesday the woman’s case is strong and he called her a “hero.” Buzbee also said he plans to file more lawsuits soon. He accuses Watson’s team of “vilifying” the women who filed the lawsuits against Watson.
All of the lawsuits revolve around the time when Watson played for the Houston Texans.
When WJW went to Houston recently, his lawyers said they were taking each claim and breaking it down to show Watson did nothing wrong.
WJW reached out to the Browns to discuss the latest lawsuit but have not heard back.
In a statement shared with NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, says “Watson vehemently denies the allegations, just as he has since she first discussed them with members of our firm in March of last year. She repeated the allegations on social media in August and he denied them. The only thing new about her contentions is the embellishment making them more extreme than prior versions. Deshaun’s denial remains the same.”
Hardin’s statement continued, saying the woman, who “has long had a vendetta against Deshaun,” was represented by other lawyers who “ultimately terminated the representation.”
“We are not surprised Buzbee was willing to say just about anything to get more publicity,” Hardin adds. “He knows the NFL continues to investigate these cases, and this is a transparent attempt to further punish the man he sees as a potential payday.”
NFL officials say they are close to finishing the investigation into Watson, but Buzbee says the NFL has not reached out to him to talk to any of the women again.
“We haven’t heard from the NFL and don’t expect to,” Buzbee told WJW. Buzbee has said NFL investigators previously met with some of the accusers. He also said he believed the investigation by the league was “bogus.”
Watson met with NFL investigators for three days earlier this month. His attorney, Rusty Hardin, says the NFL wants to meet with Watson again but a new date has not been set. Hardin said the NFL wants to finish the investigation sometime this summer.