Deshaun Watson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, has filed a motion requesting that the Harris County District Court mandate the anonymous plaintiffs suing Deshaun Watson to identify themselves.
Two of the 22 plaintiffs who have filed civil lawsuits alleging sexual harassment and assault against Watson publicly identified themselves earlier this week at a news conference. They shared stories of their interactions with the Texans quarterback.
The other 20 have filed lawsuits where they are identified as "Jane Doe."
Hardin's motion was granted by the Harris County District Court, with the hearing scheduled for Friday at noon ET.
"We have said this before and we want to say it again: Deshaun did not force, coerce or intimidate anyone to do anything against their will," Hardin said in a statement. "When we asked [Houston lawyer Tony] Buzbee to identify his clients weeks ago, he refused and told us to file a motion. Today we filed that motion."
"As discussed in our filing, Mr. Buzbee's use of anonymous lawsuits violates Texas law and the basic concept of fairness. It is clear that, for Mr. Buzbee, this case has never been about seeking justice in a courtroom, but destroying Deshaun's reputation to enhance his own public profile and enrich himself. While I understand that anonymity often is used as a shield for victims, Mr. Buzbee is using it as a sword."
Hardin's office has also previously 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."
On Wednesday, Nike became the first company to suspend its endorsement of Watson amid the lawsuits. Front Office Sports reported that Beats by Dre was also parting ways with Watson. Reliant Energy said in a statement it would not be continuing its relationship with Watson as a brand ambassador. Supermarket chain H-E-B also told Houston's ABC13 its relationship with Watson ended with the Texans' 2020 season.
Watson and Hardin have previously denied the allegations, which explicitly cite events dating as far back as March 30, 2020, and as recent as March 5, 2021.
Buzbee said Tuesday that two women, including Ashley Solis, who was one of the two women to go public earlier this week, have gone to the Houston Police Department to make criminal complaints against Watson. Last Friday, the department released a statement saying a report concerning Watson had been filed and that police were investigating.
Earlier this week, Texans owner Cal McNair wrote in a letter to season-ticket holders that the team is taking the allegations of assault against Watson "very seriously," and will corporate with the HPD and NFL's investigations into Watson's conduct.