Two new civil lawsuits were filed on Tuesday evening against Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, bringing the total number of lawsuits alleging sexual harassment and assault up to 21.
The latest lawsuits focus on a massage session in July 2020 and four massage sessions from July to September 2020.
The lawsuit from July 2020 details an incident in Arizona where Watson made "obscene sexual requests" to the plaintiff, a massage therapist, including "request[ing] she penetrate his anus with her fingers and to massage him there." According to the lawsuit, the session on July 7 lasted 35 minutes after the plaintiff said she "could not" and "would not" undertake the sexual requests Watson made.
"Defendant Watson realized the Plaintiff was not going to entertain his sexual advances, and stated that the massage was done," the lawsuit writes.
The second lawsuit posted to the Harris County District Court on Wednesday morning lists four sessions between Watson and a massage therapist, whose license is currently pending. Per the lawsuit, "with each session, Watson's behavior became progressively worse."
"After each session," the lawsuit says, "Watson would aggressively and obsessively message Plaintiff to book the next massage. During the massage sessions, Watson assaulted and harassed Plaintiff starting with purposely exposing himself to her and touching her with his penis, to ultimately grouping her, coercing her to perform oral sex on him, and ejaculating on her."
That lawsuit also claims that as a result of the recent lawsuits filed against Watson, Watson has " 'unsent' Instagram messages and has contacted women, through intermediaries, who previously provided him massages."
Watson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, told ESPN's Sarah Barshop on Monday that Watson has not deleted any Instagram messages over the last two weeks and "categorically" denied that his client contacted any of the women directly.
"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."
On Wednesday, Hardin's office published a press release with the accounts of what it says are 18 female massage therapists who "are voluntarily issuing statements in support of Deshaun—with their names attached," the release writes.
"These statements show the other side to this story that has been so lacking in the flurry of anonymous complaints filed by opposing counsel," Hardin said in a statement.
The nearly two dozen lawsuits filed in the last two weeks against Watson explicitly cite events dating as far back as March 30, 2020, and as recent as March 5, 2021. The sessions reportedly took place in multiple states and venues.
The latest two lawsuits filed allegedly took place in Texas and Arizona.
On Tuesday night, Houston attorney Tony Buzbee, who is representing the 21 plaintiffs, said on Instagram that he doesn't feel comfortable going to the Houston Police Department with any information and that he and his clients "will go elsewhere to provide our evidence to investigative authorities."
HPD Chief Art Acevedo responded to Buzbee's comments on Wednesday via Twitter, saying, "Mr. Buzbee can cast all the baseless assertions about the hard working men and women of @houstonpolice he wants, but he can’t run away from history and the truth of the professionalism of our men and women. We stand ready to investigate all allegations."
On Monday, Sports Illustrated also published a report recounting a session between a massage therapist and Watson, in which the massage therapist was subjected to inappropriate behavior. The massage therapist whose account was detailed in SI is not currently filing a lawsuit against Watson.
Watson denied the initial legal accusations in a statement on Twitter on March 16 but has not commented on the recent allegations. Hardin said last week that he believes "any allegation that Deshaun forced a woman to commit a sexual act is completely false."
An NFL spokesperson confirmed to Sports Illustrated on March 18 that "the matter is under review of [the league's] personal conduct policy."
The Texans previously said in a statement last week that they were informed of the league's investigation and will "stay in close contact with the league as they do."
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said Tuesday that the union would also monitor the situation.
On Monday, Texans general manager Nick Caserio appeared on an episode of Sports Illustrated's The Albert Breer Show, in which Breer asked Caserio about Watson's future with the franchise.
“I think we'll take it one day at a time. And I think everything is pretty fluid here,” Caserio told Breer. “And we'll adjust as we go. And ultimately, I think we'll do what we feel is best for the Houston Texans organizationally.”