HOUSTON (WJW) – Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson denies having sex with any of the 18 massage therapists who have publicly supported him following the filing of 22 civil lawsuits by women alleging sexual misconduct during massage sessions.
In April, a Texas judge ruled that Watson must say whether or not he had sex with the 18 therapists. His response to that and other questions were given to the attorney representing the 22 accusers.
“We continue to assert that the sexual history of third parties who are not alleging any misconduct against Mr. Watson is entirely irrelevant,” said Leah Graham, who is one of the attorneys, along with Rusty Hardin, representing Watson. “We feel strongly that the court’s order creates a dangerous precedent and effectively punishes individuals who were brave enough to identify themselves and stand with the accused at a time when Mr. Watson was being maligned by women improperly hiding behind the shield of anonymity. While we seriously considered appealing, we ultimately decided against it. Instead, consistent with the court’s order, we answered and served our responses on May 6, 2022. And consistent with the therapists’ public statements, Mr. Watson did not have any form of sexual relations with the 18 therapists who shared their experiences working with him and provided the context necessary to evaluate plaintiffs’ allegations.”
While two grand juries declined to indict the 26-year-old, on any criminal charges, he still faces 22 civil lawsuits from women accusing him of sexual misconduct.
“We’re gonna slowly peel back every layer of this onion ,” said attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents the 22 accusers. “We’re gonna expose it for everyone to see.”
Buzbee also stated that in a deposition that was taken May 13, Watson stated the massage therapist was “teary eyed” at the end of the session.
“After the session she cut short, he sent a text apologizing,” Buzbee stated. “And he had to explain away the text, why did you send a text to the therapist apologizing?”
According to the transcript of the deposition obtained by the FOX 8 I-Team, the text stated “Sorry about you feeling uncomfortable. Never were the intentions. Let me know if you want to work in the future. My apologies.”
In that May 13 deposition, Watson said the therapist ended the session and he didn’t know why.
“And then I was, ‘All right. That’s fine.’ And then she walked out. And like I said, I got dressed. And that was that. So it wasn’t — I wasn’t thinking too much of it,” Watson stated in the deposition.
He was then asked if therapist was crying? And he said, “no.”
“It was just, I don’t know, it was just watery eyes,” Watson’s deposition stated. “She wasn’t like crying or balling or anything like that. It was watery eyes. And I was confused on what was going on.”
He further added that he sent the text message because he was trying to figure out why she was teary eyed.
“I’m still trying to figure it out to today, honestly,” Watson said. “You see it in the text messages. She said that she felt uncomfortable. I don’t know why she felt uncomfortable, but, I still don’t know. I still don’t know.”
Attorneys for both sides say most likely no trial will take place until next spring.
The NFL is still investigating if Watson violated the league’s personal conduct policy. League investigators are speaking with Watson this week and it’s not known when the investigation will be complete. If investigators find he did violate the league’s policy he could face a suspension.
Buzbee added that he has more information that will be coming out soon on the case, including allegations that Watson paid someone to arrange massages for him.
“The walls are closing in on Deshaun Watson,” Buzbee said.
But Watson’s attorneys disagree saying the quarterback did nothing wrong.
“Deshaun Watson is a compassionate, caring person,” Graham said. “He did not do what is alleged and he is eager to clear his name.”