Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was accused of sexually assaulting a woman and exposing himself to two others. That is based on lawsuits filed this week in Harris County, Texas. The NFL is investigating the allegations that Watson denies.
The women, all massage therapists or masseuses, say they were attacked by Watson in various incidents in 2020. The most serious claim is that 25-year-old Watson forced a woman to have oral sex with him during massage therapy earlier this December. This woman, identified only as “Jane Doe”, claimed that shortly after she started massaging Watson he “aggressively started dictating the massage and where he wanted the plaintiff to touch him on his body”, and allegedly directed them to focus on his glutes “inner thighs” and his “inner glutes”.
“Watson repeatedly made it clear that he was a professional football player who could help or hurt their careers,” the suit claims.
At one point, the lawsuit states, Watson “became more aggressive, telling her to move her hand down to his pubic area” and “instructing her to slide her hand over his genitals” before forcing her to Perform oral sex with him.
According to the lawsuit, the victim was “blackened” and “confused” and “scared” for a few minutes during the encounter because of fear.
In another lawsuit, Watson is accused of starting a massage by lying on the table completely naked with genitals exposed in August 2020. When the masseuse asked him to cover himself with a towel, Watson reportedly refused to do so. In that lawsuit, he is also charged with “aggressively” advising the masseuse to massage areas that were inappropriately close to his genitals.
The lawsuit states that the masseuse stopped the massage after Watson rolled over on his back, exposed himself again, and refused to cover himself with a towel.
The third lawsuit also accuses Watson of instructing the massage therapist to focus on his groin area in March 2020, which made her “extremely uncomfortable”. At one point, the lawsuit states that he deliberately exposed himself and touched the plaintiff’s hand with the tip of his penis.
When the plaintiff started crying and told him to leave, Watson allegedly replied, “I know you have a career and a reputation, and I know you would hate it if someone messed with yours like that I don’t want anyone to mess with mine. “He then left without incident, the lawsuit says.
After the lawyer representing the women announced that they had filed the first of three lawsuits, Watson tweeted a statement denying any illegal behavior.
“As a result of a social media post from a plaintiff’s attorney searching for advertisements, I recently became aware of a lawsuit that appears to have been filed against me,” Watson said Tuesday. “I haven’t seen the complaint yet, but I know this: I’ve never treated a woman with anything other than the utmost respect.”
“The plaintiff’s attorney claims it’s not about money, but before filing a lawsuit, he made an unsubstantiated six-digit settlement claim, which I quickly declined,” added Watson. “Unlike him, I’m not about money – it’s about clearing my name and I’m looking forward to it.”
Watson has not spoken publicly since his original testimony. His attorney did not immediately respond to CBS News’ request to comment on the new allegations.
All plaintiffs said they suffered panic attacks and “mental agony” after the alleged incidents. The plaintiff, who accuses Watson of sexual assault, cannot mention Watson’s name without “sobbing and hyperventilating,” her lawsuit said.
All three women are represented by Texas attorney Tony Buzbee, who said on Instagram Thursday that he is now representing nine women in cases against Watson. Only three cases have been filed so far.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed the league is investigating the allegations. “The matter is being examined under the NFL’s personal code of conduct,” McCarthy said in an email on Thursday.
One of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, Watson made headlines when he called for a trade earlier this year. He led the league on the past in 2020 but got miserable after the team went 4-12 for the year. Still, the team’s top executives said at the time that they had no plans to trade him. The Texans have not responded to CBS News’ request for comment on the allegations.
Justin Carissimo contributed to the coverage.