Already facing 22 lawsuits for various allegations of sexual misconduct, Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has now been named in 10 complaints with Houston police, it was revealed Monday night.
Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin told ESPN about the complaints, saying that eight were filed by women who had previously sued him of sexual misconduct, but that two of the women are new accusers who have not filed lawsuits against the 25-year-old NFL star.
Houston police have not announced any investigations publicly, and details about the complaints have not been revealed.
Watson previously denied any accusations of sexual misconduct when he was sued back in April and Hardin said all sexual contact between his client and the accusers was consensual.
Already facing 22 lawsuits for various allegations of sexual misconduct, Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has now been named in 10 complaints with Houston police, it was revealed Monday night
Hardin told ESPN that Watson is cooperating with police and the Harris County District Attorney’s office. NFL investigators have not yet questioned Watson, although Hardin said it’s customary for leagues to stand back until law enforcement probes are finished.
‘And, when the criminal investigation is over, we’ll fully cooperate with the NFL,’ Hardin said, referring to the NFL’s ongoing investigation into the accusations against Watson.
‘We’ve made it clear to the NFL that we’ll totally cooperate with them when they’re ready to visit with us,’ Hardin continued. ‘But they, out of deference to the criminal investigation, always try to wait until that’s completed before they try to talk to the accused person.’
Tony Buzbee, the Houston attorney representing Watson’s 22 accusers, responded to ESPN in a statement: ‘As of today, almost half of these women have given sworn statements to the police, and almost half have spoken to the NFL’s investigative team. Both processes are very lengthy. We expect to provide further information to the NFL from all victims.’
High-profile attorney Rusty Hardin (pictured) is representing Texans QB Deshaun Watson
As for the civil suits, Hardin told ESPN that documents have been exchanged between the legal teams but the two sides have yet to schedule depositions for the 22 women. Depositions will begin in September, but Watson will not be deposed until February, after the upcoming season, Hardin said.
‘It is really going the normal course of all civil litigation,’ Hardin said of the depositions. ‘The dates haven’t been set as of yet, the exact dates as to who would go when. But they’ll start in September.’
Hardin told ESPN that his client will not sign any settlement that includes a confidentiality agreement: ‘I do not want anybody to be saying that this guy paid off women to stay quiet and so, if there ever was a settlement of any kind, it would have to be public and therefore both sides, [Watson] and the women, would be able to say to the world at large whatever they wanted.’
Watson recently reported to training camp without the NFL placing him on the commissioner’s exempt list — an encouraging sign for his availability this season.
The NFL has been investigating Watson, 25, since March, when the first of 23 women came forward with allegations ranging from harassment and indecent exposure to sexual assault (one plaintiff has since dropped her lawsuit).
The plaintiffs, most of who work as massage therapists or in other similar professions, filed separate lawsuits as Jane Does in March and April, but have since revealed their identities following a court order.
Through Hardin, Watson has called the allegations ‘false’ and is insisting that all sexual contact between himself and the accusers was consensual. No criminal charges have been filed in the case.
The NFL had the option of placing Watson on the commissioner’s exempt list, effectively suspending him with pay as league investigation continues. An NFL spokesman has not responded to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
Watson, who led the league in yards passing in 2020 after signing a four-year, $156 million contract extension last summer, was seeking a trade before the allegations surfaced, and that may be on the horizon.
Attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents the 22 plaintiffs, claimed some of his clients have received threats as a result of the lawsuits
Despite the fact that he reported to training camp — something that helped Watson avoid $50,000 in fines for every day he missed — the former Clemson star has told the team he still hopes to be traded, and now the Texans are willing to listen to offers, according to reports from Pro Football Talk and ESPN.
The allegations notwithstanding, the Texans are seeking a major return, according to ESPN: Five high draft picks and/or high-level players.
Texans spokespeople did not respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
Hardin addressed the recent trade rumors surrounding his client, although he explained to ESPN that he is not Watson’s agent and isn’t involved in any football-related decisions for the quarterback.
‘Teams are ready to jump now if the Texans would trade with them, even while all this is pending,’ Hardin said. ‘There’s no question that teams, numerous teams, are still interested. The ball is in the Texans’ court.’
Buzbee told ESPN that he’s ‘not focused on whether Watson will play,’ but rather ‘the welfare of the women had had contact with.’
The club has not commented on him publicly since April, when new Texans general manager Nick Caserio said he would ‘respect the legal process.’
The club has not commented on Watson publicly since April, when new Texans general manager Nick Caserio (left, right) said he would ‘respect the legal process.’