HOUSTON (WJW) – Trial dates in the 22 civil lawsuits filed against Deshaun Watson have not been set yet, but Watson will return to Houston Friday for more depositions.
Harris County District Judge Rabeea Collier held a hearing Monday with both sides to decide several motions and to work on scheduling hearings.
Attorney Leah Graham, one of the attorneys representing Watson, told the judge that the quarterback will be available this Friday for more depositions. The judge also asked Watson’s team to try and make him available for depositions at least one more time in May.
Watson did not attend the hearing. The hearing was streamed online.
The 22 women all accuse Watson of sexual misconduct during massage sessions in 2020 and 2021, while he played for the Houston Texans.
Watson has denied the allegations and his legal team stresses that he has not done anything wrong.
Two grand juries have cleared him of any criminal wrongdoing.
The judge also granted Watson’s motion asking for all the medical records of his accusers. The records must be given to Watson’s attorneys by Friday.
The lawsuits were filed over a year ago, but Watson’s attorneys say they have not received complete medical records from any of the accusers.
The attorney for the accusers denies that allegation.
“They wanted to go on a fishing expedition. I’m not sure what they think they’re going to find,” Buzbee said.
During a deposition, Watson’s attorney asked the counselor for one accuser, if she was aware that her client, Lauren 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 responded, “No, I wasn’t aware of that.”
Watson’s attorney also asked if the new information that Baxley talked to Watson numerous times changed her opinion.
“Well, it certainly doesn’t sound like trauma,” the counselor said. “If she’s able to talk to him and is willing to do another massage.”
Buzbee maintains his clients are strong and credible. He says Watson admitted to deleting information of his social media accounts and changing phones.
“That is such a false issue,” said Attorney Rusty Hardin, Watson’s lead attorney. “Deshaun had a regular policy. He has said once he no longer has contact with a person he deletes them. He says he has been doing that ever since he got phones. He never deleted a single thing once they filed a lawsuit. “
Buzbee has said he wants to take one case to trial in July, but Hardin said there are several issues that would need to be worked out first. Another status conference will be held to determine if it’s possible to start a trial in July. However, both attorneys say most likely the first trial won’t begin until next spring.
Both sides have agreed to avoid trials during the football season from August 1 to March.
NFL officials told the I-Team Monday they are continuing to investigate to determine if Watson violated the league’s personal conduct policy. They said they do not know when any decision will be made.