Number of lawsuits against Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson now 24


Number of lawsuits against Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson now 24

Another woman has filed a civil lawsuit against Deshaun Watson, bringing the number of women who have accused the Cleveland Browns quarterback of inappropriate sexual behavior during massage sessions to 24.

The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiff massaged Watson twice. The first session, the lawsuit states, was cut short because “Watson had to leave abruptly after receiving a phone call.” The lawsuit says Watson scheduled a second massage a few days later, when the woman alleges Watson exposed and masturbated and “offered no apology or explanation for his behavior.”

The lawsuit states that the plaintiff “quit massage therapy shortly thereafter.”

“Today we filed the twenty-fourth case of alleged sexual misconduct against Deshaun Watson. The allegations made in this new case are strikingly similar to those of many other victims,” ​​attorney for all 24 plaintiffs, Tony Buzbee, said in a statement. “What is lost in the media frenzy surrounding Deshaun Watson is that these are twenty-four strong, courageous women who, despite ridicule, legal shenanigans and intense media scrutiny, continue to stand firmly for what is right. Aside from the legal wrangling, the complicity of the NFL, or the failure of the criminal justice system, the resounding story that should be told here is that these women are true heroes. I’ll say it again, our entire team is incredibly proud to represent these women and we look forward to the day when we can present their cases in detail before a jury.”

The lawsuit also relates to statements made by Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, on a Houston radio station last week.

“Watson’s attorney alleges that ‘happy endings’ are common in massage therapy and that such behavior is not a crime unless specifically paid for,” the lawsuit reads.

On Friday, during an interview with SportsRadio 610 in Houston, Hardin said that “happy endings” are not illegal. Hardin has said Watson only had consensual sex, and only on three occasions.

Hardin sent out a statement later in the day trying to clarify what he said on the radio.

“In an interview with a radio show in Houston today, I mentioned that a ‘happy ending’ massage is not illegal, meaning that it is not illegal to have consensual sex with a therapist after a massage, unless the sex is for payment.” Deshaun did not pay anyone for sex,” Hardin said in the statement. “I was speaking in a hypothetical situation. If a consensual sexual encounter occurs after a massage, that is not a criminal offense nor is it the basis for a civil suit.”

Buzbee told ESPN Friday that Hardin “may have single-handedly lost his client’s case because I’m dying to use that comment because I think it speaks volumes about how he, his team and his client think about the massage industry.” “

Monday’s lawsuit is the second filed against Watson in the past week. In a 23rd civil case filed May 31, the lawsuit alleges that the plaintiff had her first massage session with Watson in the summer of 2020 and that his “behaviour got worse.” During the third and final massage, she claims Watson exposed himself to her, touched her between the legs and “repeatedly asked her to have sex with him.” While 24 lawsuits are active against Watson, another lawsuit was previously filed but later dropped.

Although two Texas grand juries earlier this year declined to seek criminal charges against Watson, the NFL is investigating whether he violated its code of conduct and interviewed the quarterback in person as part of its investigations last month. At the league’s spring meeting, Commissioner Roger Goodell said he believes the NFL is nearing the end of its investigation but could not provide a timeline for when a decision might be made.

Watson has denied any wrongdoing and during his inaugural press conference with the Browns on March 25 he said he “never disrespected a woman”.

ESPN’s John Barr and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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