14th woman files lawsuit accusing Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct
A Los Angeles massage therapist accused Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct in a lawsuit filed on Monday, making her the 14th woman to make such claims against the Houston Texans quarterback.
The plaintiff said she was reached by Watson, via Instagram messenger, before they arranged for a July 15 session in Beverly Hills, according to the lawsuit filed in Harris County District Court in Texas.
Watson exposed himself to the therapist before allegedly forcing her to "pleasure him," the civil complaint said.
"Watson grabbed plaintiff's hands and moved his penis and genitals towards her hand and forced plaintiff's hands onto his penis, to get her to pleasure him," according to a lawsuit filed by attorney Anthony Buzbee, who is representing all of the women.
By the end of last week, Buzbee had filed seven lawsuits and told reporters that five more civil complaints were coming soon. He also said his investigators were vetting allegations of 10 more potential accusers.
Representatives for Watson could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday, but the quarterback and his legal team have steadfastly denied any wrongdoing.
Watson led the league in passing last season and is demanding to be traded from the Texans. His 2021 destination has been the talk of the NFL off-season.
The quarterback's defense attorney, Rusty Hardin, said in a statement Tuesday that Buzbee had "orchestrated a circus-like atmosphere by using social media to publicize 14 'Jane Doe' lawsuits" which are a calculated effort to "inflame the public and malign Deshaun’s otherwise sterling reputation."
"I believe that any allegation that Deshaun forced a woman to commit a sexual act is completely false," Hardin added.
The defense lawyer said at least one of the plaintiffs "attempted to blackmail Deshaun by demanding $30,000 in exchange for her 'indefinite silence' about what she stated was a consensual encounter."
All of the plaintiffs have filed their lawsuits as "Jane Doe," which Hardin claimed is unfairly being used "as a sword to publicly humiliate Deshaun before the truth-seeking process can even begin.”
After the first lawsuit was filed, Watson said in a statement last week that he was being wrongly targeted by a "publicity-seeking" lawyer.
"I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect," he said.
Diana Dasrath is entertainment producer and senior reporter for NBC News covering all platforms.
David K. Li is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.