CLEVELAND (WJW) – The Fox 8 I-Team has learned attorneys representing four women suing Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson have filed a motion in court seeking documents from the NFL’s investigation of the 26-year-old, including transcripts from his recent disciplinary hearing.
Attys. Tony Buzbee and Cornelia Brandfield-Harvey also filed a motion seeking documents from the Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa relating to Deshaun Watson, including surveillance video.
Both motions, notices of intention to take depositions by written questions, were filed Friday in Harris County District Court.
The motion filed seeking the NFL records is asking for all reports, investigation files, records, recorded interviews, written interviews, witness statements and communications as well as the transcripts from the June 28 hearing.
We reached out to the NFL and Watson’s attorneys to discuss the issue but have not yet heard back.
The disciplinary hearing for Watson was held last week and lasted three days. The NFL and Watson’s team both presented their side to a retired federal judge who will determine if Watson violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
The hearing concluded Thursday. Both sides are now to submit briefs to the hearing officer. Officials are hoping she will release a decision before Browns training camp at the end of the month.
Several sources confirmed to the Fox 8 I-Team that the NFL wants at least a one-year suspension. Watson’s side believes he should not be suspended and should be allowed to play this season for Cleveland.
Twenty four women had sued Watson alleging sexual misconduct during massages. According to paperwork filed in court, 20 of the lawsuits have been dismissed. The confidential settlements were reached last month. The notices filed in court all state the 20 women “dismiss all” claims.
The four that didn’t settle, include Ashley Solis and Lauren Baxley. Both women have been vocal about the case.
According to a video deposition, obtained by the Fox 8 I-Team, Solis stated she was in tears at the end of the massage session with Watson. She also said Watson texted her after, apologizing if he made her uncomfortable. She contends he insisted on being naked during the massage, only covered himself with a towel, and at one point his private part touched her hand.
Baxley also stated similar allegations in her lawsuit. Baxley also testified that she did respond to Watson several times following the first massage where she alleges sexual misconduct.
Baxley’s counselor was deposed as part of the case. The FOX 8 I-Team also obtained her video deposition.
During the deposition, Watson’s attorney asked the counselor if she was aware that Baxley communicated with Watson several times after the first massage where she alleges sexual misconduct.
“Did you know Ms. Baxley responded to Mr. Watson 19 times after the day of the massage with him?” the attorney asked. “Over text message. She communicated with him 19 times.”
The counselor, Mary Magdalene Smith, testified she was not aware that Baxley continued to communicate with Watson.
“Well, it certainly doesn’t sound like trauma,” Smith said. “If she’s able to talk to him and is willing to do another massage.”
Baxley and Solis, along with eight of the other accusers, filed criminal complaints against Watson. Houston police investigated those complaints and forwarded the cases to the Harris County District Attorneys’ office. The lead detective in the case stated in a recent deposition that she felt Watson committed 10 sexual crimes.
Two grand juries in Texas, however, declined to indict Watson on any criminal charges.
Watson has denied any wrongdoing.