An additional woman has filed a sexual misconduct lawsuit against the Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. This marks the 23rd civil case against the QB.
ESPN reported on Tuesday that the lawsuit, which was filed in Texas, states that the plaintiff had her first massage session with Watson during the summer of 2020 and that his “behavior grew worse.” During the third and final massage, she alleges that Watson exposed himself to her, touched the woman between the legs and “repeatedly requested” her to have sex with him.
Browns QB Deshaun Watson is facing a 23rd active civil lawsuit over alleged inappropriate sexual conduct. https://t.co/U8CQbhqNOI— ESPN (@espn) May 31, 2022
The filing also states that the woman decided to come forward after watching two fellow accusers talk about their experiences on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, which aired on May 24. The women, who have both accused Watson of inappropriate sexual conduct, criticized the Browns for giving him an NFL-record $230 million guaranteed contract in March. Watson was the starting quarterback for the Houston Texans at the time of the allegations, the latest accuser worked for the New U Salon in Houston at the time of the alleged incidents.
According to the lawsuit, the woman came forward after Watson claimed on the HBO show that “he has ‘no regrets’ and has done nothing wrong that solidified her resolve. She brings this case seeking minimum compensation, but to obtain a court finding that Watson’s conduct was wrong.”
Rusty Hardin, Watson’s attorney, released this statement:
“Deshaun Watson vehemently denies the allegations, just as he has since she first discussed them with members of our firm in March of last year. She repeated the allegations on social media in August and he denied them then. The only thing new about her contentions is the embellishment making them more extreme than prior versions. Deshaun’s denial remains the same.”
From the onset, Watson has denied all allegations surrounding these accusations. Two grand juries in Texas each reviewed the findings separately and neither decided to indict Watson on criminal charges. The NFL interviewed Watson last month as part of their investigation as to whether he violated its code of conduct policy.
Both the NFL and the Browns have declined comment on the latest lawsuit filing.
Descriptive allegations to the newest lawsuit are included in this article on NFL.com:
A portion of the new lawsuit states:
“In that (HBO) piece, plaintiff was struck by the courage of the victims willing to step forward and speak, and was extremely displeased by Watson and his legal team’s mistreatment and revictimization of the plaintiffs. But it was Watson himself claiming that even now he has ‘no regrets’ and has done nothing wrong that solidified her resolve. She brings this case seeking minimum compensation, but to obtain a court finding that Watson’s conduct was wrong.”
At this point nobody knows what the NFL will do as far as a suspension, although Watson’s new $230 million deal basically realizes some sort of disciplinary action will ensue at some point. The Browns even made his 2022 salary just $1.35 million in the event a suspension of game checks would become reality this season and therefore lessen the financial toll. Watson hasn’t played an NFL game since Jan. 3, 2021.
“I can’t give you a timeline (for a possible suspension),’’ Goodell stated on cleveland.com. “We are nearing the end of the investigative period and then it will be handled by our disciplinary officer.”