Texans QB Deshaun Watson Denies Sexual Assault Claim Lodged by Female Masseuse

A lawyer for the woman said Watson “went too far" while getting a massage from his client

NFL quarterback Deshaun Watson leaves the field following a Houston Texans game against the Titans. Watson was recently left off ESPN's list of the top 10 NFL quarterbacks.
Deshaun Watson leaves the field following a game against the Titans.
Getty Images

Already the topic of trade rumors with the NFL’s official free agency period set to begin later today, Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is in the news for another reason.

The star quarterback was hit with a civil lawsuit on Tuesday based on a claim of sexual assault being made by a female masseuse who allegedly worked on the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback.

Tony Buzbee, the Houston-based lawyer representing the alleged victim, told Fox 26 in Texas that Watson was getting a massage from his client when the 25-year-old “went too far.” Buzbee also posted about filing the lawsuit on his Facebook page and said he was “extremely proud to represent those who have no perceived power against those who have perceived power.”

“Today we filed suit against Deshaun Watson,” Buzbee wrote. “Too many times women have put up with behavior that we all know no one should put up with. Should we make excuses for the famous? Or those who hold special positions, or quarterbacks on a local professional football team? I don’t think so! All people are equal, and all deserve dignity and respect. My dad was a butcher. My mother drove my school bus and worked in the snack bar. Knowing what I know now: My momma had more dignity in her pinky finger than most executives or coaches or politicians or famous athletes have in their whole bodies! This case we just filed against Watson isn’t about money — it’s about dignity and stopping behavior that should be stopped, NOW! Stay tuned for details. LET ME SAY THIS. I’m a Marine. I’m not easily intimidated. If you have info or have been part of this, contact my office.”

Some have suggested Buzbee, who is well-known throughout the Houston area for his law firm, may have an ulterior motive for involving himself in the civil litigation.

In the lawsuit, a copy of which was obtained by TMZ, the woman says she is a licensed massage therapist who works out of her home and was first contacted by Watson on Instagram in March 2020.

In the lawsuit, the woman says Watson “made it clear he was looking for a sexual encounter” and “kept directing her toward his genitals” while she was massaging him.

“At one point, the woman claims a fully-erect Watson exposed his penis and ‘purposely touched [Jane Doe’s] hand with the tip,’” per TMZ. “That’s when she claims Watson made a veiled threat – ‘I know you have a career and a reputation, and I know you would hate for someone to mess with yours, just like I don’t want anyone messing with mine.’ The woman claims Watson apologized via text message but she didn’t respond.”

On Tuesday night, Watson addressed the situation via social media and called the allegations being made against him “baseless.”

“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 wrote. “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.”

The Texans also released a statement about the civil lawsuit against Watson.

“We became aware of a civil lawsuit involving Deshaun Watson through a social media post last night,” the team said, via James Palmer of NFL Media. “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 with the Houston Texans organization seriously. We will await further information before making any additional statements on this incident.”

More details about the situation are almost certain to emerge in the coming days but likely won’t affect what the Texans are able to demand for Watson in a trade. However, Watson will likely face a probe from the NFL to determine whether a violation of the Personal Conduct Policy took place.

Debatably the most desirable young QB in the NFL outside of Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City, Watson should fetch an enticing package of established players and draft picks on the trade market. San Francisco, Denver and Carolina are all potential landing spots, although a dark-horse candidate could certainly emerge.

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