Two women accuse NFL star quarterback of sexual assault
HOUSTON, TX- One of the NFL's star quarterbacks has been accused of sexual assault, CNN reports.
Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans is being sued for alleged sexual assault by two women.
The lawsuits were filed in Harris County, Texas, on Tuesday and Wednesday and both plaintiffs are being represented by the same attorney, Tony Buzbee.
An NFL spokesman told CNN on Wednesday that the league is aware of the reports but will decline further comment at this time.
The first lawsuit claims Watson assaulted an unnamed licensed massage therapist "by touching her with his penis" while receiving a massage at the therapist's home in March 2020.
The suit implies that Watson requested a massage in hopes of engaging in sexual activity.
Watson denied the allegation in a statement posted on Twitter.
"As a result of a social media post by a publicity-seeking plaintiff's lawyer, I recently became aware of a lawsuit that has apparently been filed against me," Watson tweeted on Tuesday. "I have not yet seen the complaint, but I know this: I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect.
"The plaintiff's lawyer claims that this isn't about money, but before filing suit he made a baseless six-figure settlement demand, which I quickly rejected. Unlike him, this isn't about money for me -- it's about clearing my name, and I look forward to doing that."
CNN says it has reached out to Buzbee, the attorney representing both women, in regards to whether or not a six-figure settlement was offered to Watson.
The lawsuit alleges that the therapist left Watson alone in the massage room of her home and when she returned, "Watson was lying on the massage table completely naked with only a small towel covering his groin area ... Watson then began to aggressively dictate how he wanted the massage to be performed. Watson emphasized to Plaintiff that she not use her knuckles or elbows during the massage. Instead, Watson told Plaintiff she was only to use her hands. And, Watson repeatedly stated that he wanted her focus to be on his groin area."
The lawsuit says the woman "began to feel extremely uncomfortable" and was trying to find a way to "extricate herself from the situation."
"At one point, he purposely exposed the tip of the penis from under the towel," the lawsuit alleges. "As a result of his moving of his hips, Watson purposedly touched Plaintiff's hand with the tip of his erect penis."
The lawsuit says that the therapist "was shocked and mortified" and ended the session.
Watson left the "home without further incident" and later apologized via text for the alleged incident, according to the suit.
"Too many times women have put up with behavior that we all know no one should put up with," Buzbee wrote on Facebook and Instagram on Tuesday. "All people are equal, and all deserve dignity and respect."
The woman is "seeking the minimal compensatory damages" as well as court costs and punitive damages, the lawsuit notes.
In a statement to CNN on Wednesday, the Texans said, "We became aware of a civil lawsuit involving Deshaun Watson through a social media post last night. This is the first time we heard of the matter, and we hope to learn more soon.
"We take accusations of this nature that involve anyone within the Houston Texans organization seriously. We will await further information before making any additional statements on this incident."
The second lawsuit claims Watson assaulted and harassed an unnamed masseuse in August 2020 at a hotel in Houston by "touching her with his penis and exposing himself." The lawsuit says the woman, who lives in Atlanta, was flown in for the massage.
"Watson's behavior is part of a disturbing pattern of preying on vulnerable women," the court document says.
According to the lawsuit, Watson wanted the massage to focus on his glutes and groin area and also inquired about quads and the Achilles.
The lawsuit claims Watson was nude on the massage table and that the plaintiff said he needed to use a towel to cover himself. But Watson refused, the lawsuit states, saying he "gets hot easily" and wanted to remain nude. The lawsuit says that Watson "kept aggressively" instructing the woman to work on his anus, which made her uncomfortable.
"Watson then got more specific and asked Plaintiff to work on the inner part of his anus," the lawsuit says. "Plaintiff ignored this request because it was odd and decided to start working on Watson's inner thigh area. Watson got more aggressive, now telling Plaintiff to go higher and higher towards his penis."
Though the woman said no, Watson "kept insisting, saying 'come up more' and 'go here' towards his genitals," the court document says.
The lawsuit goes on to say it was at this point that Watson moved in her direction, causing her to touch his genitals. After Watson flipped over, exposed, the lawsuit says, the woman said for Watson to cover himself with a towel, but Watson refused. The woman stopped the massage and said she needed to leave.
CNN notes that Watson has played four seasons in Houston and has been selected for three Pro Bowls. According to the Spotrac website, he signed a four-year, $156 million contract in 2020.
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