Allegations of assault and sexual misconduct towards the Houston Texans star quarterback Deshaun Watson have mounted over the previous week, as 16 ladies have filed civil fits towards him and their lawyer has publicized the accusations on social media and in a information convention that was streamed on-line.
Apart from an early denial of the primary two claims, Watson has remained largely silent. Within the first substantive rebuttal to the accusations, Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, on Tuesday challenged the veracity of all of the claims and described one of many two allegations of sexual assault as an try and blackmail his shopper.
In a press release, Hardin blasted Tony Buzbee, the lawyer representing the ladies, saying he had “orchestrated a circuslike ambiance through the use of social media to publicize 14 ‘Jane Doe’ lawsuits” to malign Watson’s fame. Buzbee filed two extra fits on Tuesday.
Watson’s legal professional additionally mentioned that he had “robust proof” demonstrating that the primary lawsuit claiming sexual assault was false, and he mentioned that “calls into query the legitimacy of the opposite instances as properly.”
“I consider that any allegation that Deshaun pressured a lady to commit a sexual act is totally false,” Hardin mentioned.
Since March 16, a complete of 16 ladies have accused Watson of assault in civil lawsuits filed in Harris County, Texas, the place he’s a resident. In accordance with the complaints, the incidents have taken place from March 2020 to this month. Though most are mentioned to have occurred in Texas, two had been mentioned to have occurred in Georgia, Watson’s residence state, this month, and in California, the place he was visiting in July 2020.
The civil fits accuse Watson, 25, of participating in a sample of lewd conduct with ladies employed to offer private providers — coercing them to the touch him in a sexual method, exposing himself to ladies employed to do massages, or transferring his physique in ways in which pressured them to the touch his penis.
The fits that accuse him of sexual assault say that Watson pressured each ladies to carry out oral intercourse throughout massages and that he grabbed one girl’s buttocks and vagina.
Hardin’s assertion referenced the primary allegation of sexual assault, which is claimed to have occurred on Dec. 28, 2020. That day, in keeping with the grievance, he coerced the lady to the touch his genitals and carry out oral intercourse. The girl was so upset, the grievance mentioned, that she blacked out for a couple of minutes.
The assertion from Watson’s lawyer on Tuesday included a signed affidavit from Bryan Burney, the quarterback’s advertising and marketing supervisor for the previous three years. The affidavit states that Burney spoke in January with a lady believed to be the plaintiff within the first declare of sexual assault. Burney mentioned that the lady had requested him to pay her $30,000 on Watson’s behalf for “indefinite silence” about an encounter with Watson that Burney mentioned she characterised to him as consensual.
After Burney declined to pay, the assertion mentioned, he obtained a second name from a person who claimed to be the lady’s enterprise supervisor. That man claimed one thing embarrassing could be revealed if Watson didn’t pay to maintain it a secret. Watson, Burney mentioned, didn’t meet the person’s demand.
Hardin added within the assertion that Watson’s staff was “taking the allegations very significantly and we ask solely that individuals not rush to judgment, that individuals not be unduly influenced by opposing counsel’s antics, and that they let basic equity to each side rule the day.”