Watson has continued to deny all wrongdoing, saying the women are seeking an easy payday.
Another woman has filed a sexual misconduct lawsuit against Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson.
According to USA Today, Watson now faces 23 civil lawsuits accusing him of sexually harassing and assaulting women during private massage sessions.
In her complaint, the woman claims she had three separate encounters with Watson. During each encounter, Watson’s behavior became progressively worse.
During the third and last encounter in the summer of 2020, Watson allegedly exposed his genitals, attempted to touch the woman between her legs, and repeatedly asked her to have sexual intercourse with him.
Attorneys for the plaintiff say she had not initially planned to file a lawsuit. However, she changed her mind after watching an H.B.O. segment detailing the numerous other complaints against the quarterback.
“In that 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 revictimizations of the plaintiffs,” the lawsuit alleges. “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.”
Watson, notes USA Today, has steadfastly denied the allegations. His attorney, Rusty Hardin, says the women are all lying and motivated by the prospect of lucrative settlements.
According to Hardin, at least three of the female plaintiffs propositioned Watson before having consensual sexual intercourse with him.
“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,” Hardin said in a statement.
Watson has not been arrested or charged with any crimes.
The lawsuit asserts that the female plaintiff did not wish to meet Watson again after their first two encounters but was coerced into doing so by her employer, a massage spa.
The spa, says the lawsuit, “provided women for Watson,” and “[facilitated] massages for Watson and knew that Watson was attempting to have sex with [workers].”
The lawsuit includes Cash App receipts of $5,000 paid to one of the managers at the spa.
After the third massage, the plaintiff claims she decided to quit her job.
“She was completely traumatized by the experience with Watson,” the lawsuit says. “She now realizes that Deshaun Watson, with [the spa manager’s help], was manipulating her the entire time.”
Since the complaint’s release, Hardin has publicly criticized the woman’s attorney, Tony Buzbee, who is the lead counsel for all of the cases pending against Watson.
“We are not surprised Mr. Buzbee was willing to say just about anything to get more publicity,” Hardin said. “He knows the N.F.L. continues to investigate these cases, and this is a transparent attempt to further punish the man he sees as a potential payday.”