Three massage therapists have now filed civil lawsuits against Deshaun Watson in a span of 36 hours, each accusing the Houston Texans quarterback of sexual misconduct or assault.
The third lawsuit, which was filed in Harris County District Court on Thursday morning, alleges that Watson forced a female massage therapist to perform oral sex during a session at an unspecified office building in Houston on Dec. 28. The other two claim Watson touched their hands with his penis during separate sessions over the past year.
Watson denied wrongdoing in a statement on social media Tuesday night, before the first complaint was publicly available. He wrote that he has "never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect" and looked forward to "clearing my name."
Watson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, did not immediately reply to messages from USA TODAY Sports about the allegations. But he told ESPN on Wednesday night that the 25-year-old quarterback "has a great reputation here in the Houston area and the allegations are really inconsistent with the kind of person he is."
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has been accused of sexual misconduct or assault by massage therapists in multiple lawsuits. (Photo: The Associated Press)
"I’m real comfortable with the kind of person that Deshaun Watson is and I don’t like to publicly comment until I get all the facts," Hardin told the news outlet.
All three of the massage therapists are represented by attorney and former Houston mayoral candidate Tony Buzbee, who wrote on Instagram late Wednesday that he plans to file six separate lawsuits against Watson.
"We haven’t made any comments at this point, and won’t until we have all the lawsuits filed," Buzbee told USA TODAY Sports in an email Wednesday.
The NFL and the Texans said Wednesday afternoon that they are aware of the litigation against Watson and have since declined further comment.
The incidents alleged in the lawsuits occurred on March 30, Aug. 28 and Dec. 28 at three different locations: A massage therapist's home office in Houston, The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa and an unspecified Houston office building, respectively. None of the massage therapists are named in the lawsuits.
According to the complaints, the massage therapists reside in three different states – Texas, Georgia and Oregon. It is unclear whether any of them reported the incidents to police, or plan to do so.
The third lawsuit, filed Thursday, contains the most serious allegations against Watson. The massage therapist claims she first connected with Watson on Instagram in December, after she had graduated from chiropractic school, and agreed to meet for a session on Dec. 28. During that session, she alleges, Watson directed her to massage his "inner groin area" and abdominal muscles before forcing her to perform oral sex.
The lawsuit alleges that Watson's behavior "is part of a disturbing pattern of preying on vulnerable women." All three massage therapists are seeking "minimal compensatory damages."
Watson claimed in his statement Tuesday night that Buzbee, the women's attorney, had made a "baseless six-figure settlement demand" prior to filing the first lawsuit.
The lawsuits come amid a period of uncertainty for Watson's future in Houston. After leading the NFL in passing yards and reaching his third consecutive Pro Bowl last season, the Clemson product has asked the Texans to trade him, according to ESPN.
Contributing: Brent Schrotenboer
Contact Tom Schad at [email protected] or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.
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