Deshaun Watson Calls Civil Fits ‘Merely Not True’ in Authorized Submitting

Deshaun Watson, the star Houston Texans quarterback, on Monday formally rebutted the accusations of the 22 ladies who declare he engaged in sexual misconduct in opposition to them throughout therapeutic massage remedy classes, accusing these ladies in a civil courtroom submitting of fabricating their tales for cash.

In line with the submitting, which addresses all 22 claims in opposition to Watson, “These lawsuits are replete with mischaracterizations of Mr. Watson’s conduct. These vary from being deceptive, to fraudulent, to slanderous.”

Watson acquired the names of all his accusers solely final week, after the fits have been filed in opposition to him anonymously starting in mid-March. Two of his accusers voluntarily recognized themselves in April and judges that month dominated that the ladies bringing fits in opposition to Watson should determine themselves, in line with state regulation.

Since then, Watson and his legal professionals have scrambled to research the accusers and their claims, and mentioned within the courtroom submitting that they found proof that “quite a few allegations on this onslaught of circumstances are merely not true or correct.” In rebutting some allegations, the submitting mentioned that eight of the ladies who’ve introduced swimsuit bragged about massaging Watson and 7 “willingly labored or supplied to work” with Watson after the alleged misconduct was mentioned to have occurred, together with one lady who confirmed up at his home to provide him one other therapeutic massage even earlier than he had booked an appointment together with her.

The submitting additionally claimed that some plaintiffs advised others that they needed to “get cash out of” Watson, that a number of the accusers lied about being traumatized by the conduct Watson’s accused of and that some scrubbed or deleted their social media accounts, disposing of proof Watson would wish to mount a correct protection.

“I actually consider that this can be a money seize in opposition to a rich athlete,” Rusty Hardin, Watson’s lead lawyer, mentioned Monday in a phone interview. “If you happen to’re asking, ‘Are you saying that every one 22 are mendacity about whether or not he dedicated sexual misconduct?’ I certain am.”

Hardin mentioned in an April 9 information convention that there have been “some consensual encounters,” between Watson and his accusers.

Tony Buzbee, the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, mentioned Monday in a press release that Watson’s response to the accusations did nothing to assist his trigger. He referred to as Watson’s “weak and obscure” allegations in opposition to his accusers in Monday’s courtroom submitting “demonstrably false.”

“As totally anticipated and regardless of his lawyer’s earlier statements, Deshaun Watson’s solely protection is to name these courageous ladies liars,” Buzbee mentioned.

Monday’s courtroom submitting is only one step in an extended authorized course of that might take months, if no more than a yr, to conclude. The lawsuits have accused Watson, 25, of partaking in a sample of lewd conduct with ladies he employed by way of social media platforms to provide him massages this yr and final. The claims accuse him of exposing himself throughout massages, transferring his physique in a option to make his feminine therapeutic massage therapists contact his penis, or coercing the ladies to the touch him in a sexual method. In two of the circumstances, ladies say he pressured them to carry out oral intercourse.

At the least one different therapeutic massage therapist who had not introduced swimsuit in opposition to Watson publicly accused him of comparable conduct, although she didn’t rent Buzbee to symbolize her. She advised Sports activities Illustrated in late March that she was contemplating authorized motion.

The courtroom doc filed Monday mentioned one of many two plaintiffs who accused Watson of pressured sexual acts “sought to blackmail” Watson earlier than suing him.

“She requested him to pay her $30,000 for ‘indefinite silence’ as a result of her encounter could be ‘embarrassing’ if revealed,” the courtroom submitting mentioned of 1 accuser.

That plaintiff additionally requested Watson’s advertising and marketing supervisor for a replica of the nondisclosure settlement that she and Watson had signed “as a result of she didn’t need folks in her business to know she had supplied oral intercourse to her therapeutic massage consumer,” the submitting mentioned, including that Watson has a recording of a cellphone name of a dialog wherein she discusses her considerations.

Hardin, in Monday’s courtroom doc, requested a jury trial. He later defined {that a} trial is likely to be the one approach the general public can weigh all of the proof and rightly determine what occurred between Watson and the ladies he employed to therapeutic massage him.

“I’m completely comfy that if there’s a jury trial at some point, a jury will discover each certainly one of these accusations false,” Hardin mentioned. “But when now we have to resort to the courtroom, it’s a great distance away.”

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