Number of Deshaun Watson Accusers Hits 23

Another sexual misconduct allegation has been revealed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 1, 2022 12:28 AM CDT
Number of Deshaun Watson Accusers Hits 23
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson poses for a photo with members of the military who were in attendance during NFL football practice at the team's training facility Wednesday, May 25, 2022, in Berea, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Another massage therapist has filed a civil lawsuit against Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, raising the number of women who have accused him of sexual misconduct to 23, the AP reports. Attorney Tony Buzbee, who is representing all the women, filed the latest lawsuit Tuesday in Texas and said in a text to the AP that there is more legal action forthcoming against Watson. “I will be filing a 24th case soon,” he said. Buzbee did not provide any details about the latest case. Watson, who has been giving depositions in the lawsuits over the past month, is scheduled to be back on the field Wednesday as the Browns continue their offseason team activities.

The previous 22 lawsuits were filed in 2021, and two of those cases recently received national attention when two of the women were interviewed for a segment on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. Both women provided graphic details of their encounters with Watson, who was traded from Houston to Cleveland in March. The Browns sent five draft picks—including three first-rounders—to the Texans and then signed the three-time Pro Bowler to a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract despite his legal entanglement and the cases still pending. Watson has denied any wrongdoing, and his lawyer, Rusty Hardin, reiterated the 26-year-old's innocence while commenting on lawsuit No. 23.

“Deshaun Watson vehemently denies the allegations, just as he has since she first discussed them with members of our firm in March of last year,” Hardin said in an email to the AP. “She repeated the allegations on social media in August and he denied them then. The only thing new about her contentions is the embellishment making them more extreme than prior versions. Deshaun’s denial remains the same.” Watson is also facing a possible suspension from the NFL, which is independently investigating his behavior to see if he violated the league's substance-abuse policy. League investigators recently met with Watson in Houston. It's not known if the league has completed its inquiry.

(More Deshaun Watson stories.)

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