Two more civil lawsuits accusing Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual assault and inappropriate conduct were filed on Tuesday evening in a Texas court, bringing the overall total to 21.
The lawsuits appeared on the website of the Harris County District Clerk on Wednesday morning.
The two most recent lawsuits come from a massage professional in Arizona and from a Houston woman working to get her massage license.
The Houston woman said she provided massage services on four occasions to Watson in mid-2020. And while the first three appointments left her upset and shaken, she continued to work with Watson because she feared he could ruin her reputation as she tried to get her business started. The fourth appointment, she said, culminated in forced oral sex, and she refused to work with him after that.
Also, one of the new lawsuits states Watson has “unsent” messages on Instagram and has contacted the women who previously massaged him “through intermediaries”. That statement clarifies the contents of a lawsuit filed by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee on Sunday that said Watson was deleting Instagram messages and contacting the women “who formally provided him massages, in an attempt to settle”.
Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, issued a statement Monday contradicting the claims in that lawsuit.
“Like a lot of people, Deshaun regularly deletes past Instagram messages,” Hardin said. “That said, he has not deleted any messages since March 15th, the day before the first lawsuit was filed. We categorically deny that he has reached out directly to his accusers in an attempt to settle these cases.”
Hardin also released statements from 18 women who say that they have worked with the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback and that he “never made them feel uncomfortable or demanded anything outside the scope of a professional massage”. Watson’s attorney said the statements were voluntary and from women who have collectively “worked with Deshaun more than 130 times over the past five years”.
Buzbee also posted on Instagram on Tuesday that he doesn’t feel comfortable going to the Houston police department with any information.
“I’ve since learned that my legal opponent, Mr Hardin, has a son who is on of the exclusive Command Staff of HPD,” Buzbee wrote on Instagram. “I am not saying in any way that Deshaun Watson’s lawyer, Mr Hardin, has a son who has a position that would compromise HPD and its investigation. I support his service, along with all Houston police officers-I think the rank and file know that. But, I am saying that me and my clients will go elsewhere to provide our evidence to investigative authorities.”
Watson, 25, denied the allegations after the first lawsuit was filed on 16 March.
“I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect,” Watson wrote, in part, adding he looked forward to defending his name.
No criminal charges have been filed.
The NFL said on 18 March that cases of alleged wrongdoing by Watson are under investigation. The Texans said team officials will stay in contact with the league.
Last September, the Texans signed Watson to a four-year, $156m contract extension. His relationship with the team has soured since, however, and he has requested a trade.