It’d been about a month since Cleveland Browns fans decided to mock the victims of Deshaun Watson’s alleged sexual misconduct before their home opener. And his 11-game suspension is about half over. But Watson is facing more trouble after another civil lawsuit was filed against against him Thursday night, this one stating the quarterback pressured a woman into performing oral sex on him during a 2020 massage.
It’s the 26th known lawsuit filed against Watson claiming inappropriate behavior or sexual assault during massages. The latest lawsuit was filed in Harris County, Texas, with Houston. It alleges Watson solicited the masseuse on social media via direct message. The request was made for a massage at the Houstonian hotel in Dec. 2020, while Watson was the Houston Texans’ starting quarterback. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff was paid $300 for her services, with her normal hourly charge being $115.
“My client’s experience with Deshaun Watson follows a series of disturbingly similar encounters reported by more than 20 women who have filed suit against the NFL superstar,” the woman’s lawyer, Anissah Nguyen, told ESPN. “Like so many others, my client spent nearly two years struggling to cope with the shame and trauma from all that he has stolen from her and the daily pain that has become her reality. Knowing her story will bring on the hard conversations, criticism and even victim-blaming, the strength and bravery of these other women gave my client the courage to stand up and speak out. She seeks justice not only for herself and her own healing, but for the more than 20 women who refused to be shamed into silence, and the victims who have yet to come forward.”
Rusty Hardin, Watson’s attorney, declined to comment to ESPN on the lawsuit until he learns the identity of the woman behind the latest claims. Courts have ordered the plaintiffs to be identified in every other civil case by name. All but one lawsuit against Watson was settled this past summer, with one lawsuit being dropped when a judge requested the plaintiff needed to amend their petitions and include their names.
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said Friday he has “no comment” on the latest lawsuit against Watson, according to ESPN.
Watson, maintains his innocence and claims he’s done nothing wrong, is serving an 11-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, with a $5 million fine and mandatory treatment dealt as punishment. Watson regained access to the Browns training facility this week after a ban since Aug. 30 as part of the settlement. He’s not allowed to practice with the team until Nov. 14 and isn’t eligible to play until Week 13 and a game against the Texans in Houston on Dec. 4, where his current employers will play in the city where these alleged horrible acts took place.
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