Lawyer: Now will be 12 lawsuits against Watson

NFL

Houston lawyer Tony Buzbee said during a news conference Friday that he will be filing an additional five civil lawsuits against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson “in due course” — bringing the number of total cases to 12 alleging inappropriate conduct and sexual assault.

In addition, Buzbee said he has spoken to another 10 women who have come forward about encounters with Watson.

Buzbee said alleged inappropriate conduct by Watson has happened as recently as this month.

He said Friday that his office has been in contact with police and that he would provide information to the police about the women who intend to sue Watson.

Houston police declined to comment to ESPN whether they’re investigating the matter. A spokesperson for the Harris County district attorney’s office told ESPN on Thursday that nobody from any law enforcement agency has provided information to the DA’s office yet about the allegations involving Watson.

After Buzbee’s announcement of the first lawsuit on Tuesday, Watson responded on Twitter by saying that he rejected “a baseless six-figure settlement demand” and that this is “about clearing my name, and I look forward to doing that.” At the time of his statement, Watson said he had not seen the first lawsuit.

“I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect,” Watson said in his statement.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy on Thursday said “the matter is under review” of the league’s personal conduct policy, and the Texans said they would stay in close contact with the NFL during the league’s investigation.

The seven lawsuits filed so far depict a pattern of sexual assault against massage therapists in the Houston area. One woman alleges she was forced to perform oral sex during the course of the massage. While six of the lawsuits allege these were one-time encounters with Watson, one woman alleges she was sexually assaulted by Watson on multiple occasions. That lawsuit says the first massage was booked through the spa where the licensed aesthetician worked. The six other lawsuits allege Watson first inquired about the massage through Instagram direct messages.

Three of the four lawsuits filed Thursday night accuse him of inappropriate contact; the fourth said he forcibly tried to kiss a woman.

“Watson’s behavior is part of a disturbing pattern of preying on vulnerable women,” the fourth lawsuit reads.

All of the women, who have filed lawsuits against Watson have done so anonymously. Many of them allege they were intimidated by his physical stature and his status as an NFL quarterback.

Watson’s agent, David Mulugheta, posted on Twitter on Friday.

“Sexual assault is real. Victims should be heard, offenders prosecuted,” Mulugheta posted Friday. “Individuals fabricate stories in pursuit of financial gain often. Their victims should be heard, and those offenders also prosecuted. I simply hope we keep this same energy with the truth.”

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