After being hit with a civil lawsuit earlier this week filed by a female masseuse alleging sexual assault, Houston Texans quarterback Deshuan Watson is now facing six other suits making similar claims, and that number is expected to rise.
Though he has only filed seven lawsuits against Watson, Houston attorney Tony Buzbee said on Instagram that there are nine total cases against the 25-year-old from nine different women, ESPN reports.
“Watson’s behavior is part of a disturbing pattern of preying on vulnerable women,” according to the fourth lawsuit.
Buzbee has called a press conference for Friday where he will “provide some background to these Deshaun Watson lawsuits, provide copies of all seven of the lawsuits filed thus far, and answer a few questions.”
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said “the matter is under review” of the league’s personal conduct policy.
The Texans are also monitoring the situation and will remain in contact with the NFL during the league’s investigation.
“The NFL informed us [Thursday] that they will conduct an investigation into the allegations made in the civil lawsuits filed against Deshaun Watson,” according to the team. “We will stay in close contact with the league as they do. We continue to take this and all matters involving anyone within the Houston Texans organization seriously. We do not anticipate making any additional statements until the NFL’s investigation concludes.”
When news of the first lawsuit became public, Watson called the accusations against him “baseless” and said he was looking forward to clearing his name.
“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 on social media. “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.”
Watson has been angling for a trade out of Houston but the Texans have been reluctant to accommodate him and are holding out hope their star quarterback will change his mind. If the allegations against Watson are true, he may not have a choice other than to stay in Houston, since his list of suitors could diminish due to the possibility of a suspension by the NFL — or worse — on the horizon.