(CNN) – Deshaun Watson, a player for the Houston Texans football team, faces 16 sexual assault lawsuits.
Two new lawsuits were filed against Watson on Tuesday in Harris County, Texas, alleging that he assaulted women while receiving a massage in May and October 2020.A lawsuit filed earlier this week called Watson a “serial predator” and, as with almost all lawsuits, said: “Watson’s behavior is part of a disturbing pattern” but was the first to include “the plaintiff believes that Watson is a serial predator ‘.
In addition to the two filed Tuesday, attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents the women, filed another seven lawsuits in Harris County Monday, in addition to seven more filed last week against Watson.
Watson denied those allegations in a published statement and Twitter.
“As a result of a social media post by a plaintiff’s attorney seeking publicity, I recently learned of a lawsuit that has apparently been filed against me. I have not seen the complaint yet, but I know this: I have never treated women with anything other than the utmost respect. The plaintiff’s lawyer claims it is not about money, but before filing the lawsuit he made an unfounded six-figure claim, which I quickly rejected. Unlike him, it’s not about money for me…. it is about clearing my name, and I hope to do it, “the publication said.
Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, said Tuesday that he and Watson acknowledge that the sexual assault and harassment are illegal and morally wrong, but believe the allegations are false.
“Opposition lawyer has orchestrated a circus atmosphere by using social media to publicize 14 demands for ‘Jane Doe’ (a term used in the United States for anonymity) over the past seven days in a way calculated to disturb the public and smear Deshaun’s excellent reputation, “Hardin said in a statement Monday.
“Furthermore, the tactic of rejecting our requests to provide the plaintiffs’ names confidentially so that we can fully investigate their claims makes uncovering the truth extremely difficult. Anonymity is often needed as a shield for victims, but the opposing attorney has used it as a sword to publicly humiliate Deshaun before he can even begin the truth-seeking process.
“I think any accusation that Deshaun forced a woman to commit a sexual act is completely false,” Hardin said.
Hardin also said that he has spoken to “many” massage therapists who have worked with Watson and “describe him as a gentleman and a model client who never engaged in inappropriate behavior.”
The seven lawsuits filed Monday describe incidents that allegedly took place from April 2020 to March 2021 in Houston, Atlanta and Beverly Hills.
Who is demanding it?
Five of the lawsuits were filed by masseurs or people allegedly hired to give massages. One of the lawsuits was filed by a beautician and another by a woman who “provides various wellness therapy services.”
All of the lawsuits filed Monday allege that Watson “assaulted and harassed” the women by “exposing himself” or “touching them with his penis.”
One of them also alleges that Watson tried to get the accuser to perform oral sex on him. All seven lawsuits allege that Watson communicated with the women through Instagram.
Houston police posted a statement on Twitter on Friday saying that there have been no reports of incidents in their jurisdiction and that the department is “not aware of any contact between HPD and Houston attorney Tony Buzbee regarding the allegations. contained in their recently filed lawsuits. ‘
On Saturday, Buzbee posted on Instagram: “Our team will present affidavits and evidence from various women, who had experiences with Deshaun Watson, to the Houston Police Department (HPD) and the Houston District Attorney on Monday morning. We will request that an investigative jury meet to consider the evidence we provide.
Houston police spokeswoman Jodi Silva told CNN Monday that she could not say if anything had been delivered to HPD and that she did not know that anyone from HPD spoke to Buzbee or Watson.
The Houston prosecutor’s office did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
Jill Martin, David Close, Wayne Sterling, and Steve Almasy contributed to this report.