“As fully anticipated and despite his lawyer’s previous statements, Deshaun Watson’s only defense is to call these brave women liars,” Buzbee said.
Monday’s court filing is just one step in a long legal process that could take months, if not more than a year, to conclude. The lawsuits have accused Watson, 25, of engaging in a pattern of lewd behavior with women he hired via social media platforms to give him massages this year and last. The claims accuse him of exposing himself during massages, moving his body in a way to make his female massage therapists touch his penis, or coercing the women to touch him in a sexual manner. In two of the cases, women say he forced them to perform oral sex.
At least one other massage therapist who had not brought suit against Watson publicly accused him of similar behavior, though she did not hire Buzbee to represent her. She told Sports Illustrated in late March that she was considering legal action.
The court document filed Monday said one of the two plaintiffs who accused Watson of forced sexual acts “sought to blackmail” Watson before suing him.
“She asked him to pay her $30,000 for ‘indefinite silence’ because her encounter would be ‘embarrassing’ if revealed,” the court filing said of one accuser.
That plaintiff also asked Watson’s marketing manager for a copy of the nondisclosure agreement that she and Watson had signed “because she did not want people in her industry to know she had provided oral sex to her massage client,” the filing said, adding that Watson has a recording of a phone call of a conversation in which she discusses her concerns.
Hardin, in Monday’s court document, requested a jury trial. He later explained that a trial might be the only way the public can weigh all the evidence and rightly decide what happened between Watson and the women he hired to massage him.