HOUSTON - Three new lawsuits against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson were filed over the weekend, bringing the number of claims to 19.
One of Saturday's claims stated that Watson was deleting Instagram messages and contacting the women who formally provided him massages, "in an attempt to settle" before heading to court.
Watson's lawyer, Rusty Hardin, issued a statement on the recent allegation early Monday afternoon.
"Like a lot of people, Deshaun regularly deletes past Instagram messages," Hardin told the press. "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 has suggested that opposing attorney Tony Buzbee has intentionally created a "circus-like atmosphere'' with his social-media allegations.
All three lawsuits have accused Watson of sexually assaulting women during massage sessions by "purposely" touching them with his penis. The latest lawsuit states that Watson has made contact with the accuser before deleting the message off of the social media app.
Watson has publicly denied any wrongdoing since the first claim was made earlier this month against him by attorney Buzbee's firm.
In his initial press conference, Buzbee stated he had not made contact with the Texans organization since the claims have been filed. The attorney added that he is planning to involve law enforcement as the next step.
“Yes, I live on River Oaks Boulevard and near the McNair family,” Buzbee told reporters on March 19. “I wouldn’t recognize Cal or whatever his name is if I saw him on the street. This has nothing to do with free agency. I don’t know anything about that and frankly don’t care.”
One claim was made against the 25-year-old quarterback, stating the masseuse accused Watson of forcing her to perform oral sex in December 2020. Several lawsuits have stated that Watson was "handsy" during his session, including one where Watson flew a private masseuse from Atlanta to Houston for a private session in the Houstonian Hotel.
“As a result of a social-media post by a publicity-seeking plaintiff’s lawyer, I recently became aware of a lawsuit that has apparently been filed against me,'' Watson posted on social media when the first claim was made. “I have not yet seen the complaint, but I know this: I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect.''
The Texans organization also addressed the allegations in a statement.
"We became aware of a civil lawsuit involving Deshaun Watson through a social media post last night," the Texans’ statement reads. "This is the first time we heard of the matter, and we hope to learn more soon. We take accusations of this nature that involve anyone within the Houston Texans organization seriously. We will await further information before making any additional statements on this incident."
Watson is coming off a career season in which he led the NFL with 4,823 passing yards and 33 touchdowns. Earlier this offseason, the fifth-year quarterback asked for a trade from the the organization following disputes with the front office.
Houston agreed to terms with former Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor. The deal is expected for one year worth up to $12.5 million. According to NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy, the matter is now "under review" in accordance to the league's personal conduct policy.
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