At least 12 women are now suing Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson for sexual misconduct, Houston attorney Tony Buzbee said at a Friday-afternoon press conference.
The Buzbee Law Firm is representing 12 women in suits against Watson and is currently talking with an additional 10 women who have made similar allegations against Watson, Buzbee said.
The Texans quarterback is currently facing seven civil lawsuits, all describing instances of sexual harassment and assault, with the other five expected to be filed in the coming days. A majority of the 12 women work in the massage industry, Buzbee said. He added, "seven of these women that we filed lawsuits on behalf of are African American, two are Hispanic and three are Caucasian."
"When you make these kinds of allegations, the first thing that people think is it's a money grab," Buzbee said, "and they blame the victim."
Buzbee said Watson's "conduct happened as recently as this month." A Texans trainer referred Watson to one of the women Buzbee is representing, the attorney said, while Watson's personal quarterback coach connected him with another accuser.
When Buzbee contacted Watson's "lawyer/agent" about the allegations, he said the lawyer "did not take them seriously." Watson responded to the claims on Tuesday night, posting a statement on Twitter in which he denied the allegations.
No police reports have been filed to his knowledge, Buzbee said, but "that's going to be our next step."
Buzbee also said he will turn a packet of information over to the police and will cooperate with the NFL investigation under the league's personal conduct policy.
Houston Police Department released a statement on Twitter Friday evening, stating that they are unaware of any contact between Buzbee and HPD.
"Before we filed the first lawsuit, I personally visited with the plaintiff multiple times," Buzbee said. "I understood that this case would generate a lot of interest. I wanted to make damn sure that what she was saying was plausible, is right and true. And I was convinced after visiting with her that she was telling the absolute truth."
Buzbee addressed the rumors that he had ties to the Texans organization, specifically the McNair family. He said that while he does live near the family, he would not recognize him on the street.
"This case has nothing to do with the Texans, has nothing to do with free agency, the timing," Buzbee said. "I don't know anything about that silliness, and I frankly don't care about it. [The] Texans are not a team that I follow. This case is instead about women, brave women. Brave women who are willing to step forward knowing that they will be criticized and ostracized."