Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson faces 23rd active civil lawsuit over alleged inappropriate sexual conduct

Another woman has filed a lawsuit against Deshaun Watson, joining 22 others who have accused the Cleveland Browns quarterback in civil cases filed in 2021 of inappropriate sexual conduct during massage sessions.

In the 23rd civil case filed Tuesday in Texas against Watson, the lawsuit says the plaintiff had her first massage session with Watson in the summer of 2020 and her “behavior escalated.” During the third and final massage, she alleges in the lawsuit that Watson exposed himself to her, touched the woman between the legs and “repeatedly asked” her to have sex with him.

According to the lawsuit, the woman changed her mind about suing Watson after watching HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” last week. On that show, two other women, Ashley Solis and Kyla Hayes, who also accused Watson of inappropriate sexual conduct, criticized the Browns for giving the quarterback a guaranteed contract worth $230 million, an NFL record, after trading for him in March.

“It’s like a big fuck off,” Solis told HBO.

Leah Graham, one of Watson’s lawyers, told HBO that Watson “has no regrets because he did nothing wrong.”

“In this article, the plaintiff was struck by the courage of victims willing to come forward and speak out and was extremely upset with the mistreatment and revictimization of plaintiffs by Watson and his legal team,” the latest lawsuit states. “But it was Watson himself who claimed that even now he had ‘no regrets’ and had done nothing wrong that strengthened his resolve. She is bringing this case to seek minimal compensation , but to get a court to find that Watson’s conduct was wrong.”

In the latest lawsuit, the plaintiff also alleges that Watson’s legal defense contacted her to determine at the time whether she was among those who filed civil lawsuits against the quarterback. The lawsuit says that during this meeting, Watson’s lawyer tried to “intimidate” her.

Rusty Hardin, who also represents Watson, said in a statement on Tuesday that his client “vehemently denies the allegations of ‘sexual misconduct’ as he has since she first discussed it with members of our firm in March of last year”. Harden also denied the wife’s allegation of attorney intimidation when the parties met previously.

Two Texas grand juries declined to pursue criminal charges against Watson, who denied any wrongdoing. The NFL is investigating whether Watson violated its code of conduct policy and interviewed the quarterback in person two weeks ago as part of its investigation.

At the league’s spring meeting in Atlanta, commissioner Roger Goodell said he believed the NFL was nearing the end of its investigation, but could not give a timeline for when a decision might be reached. be returned.

The Browns did not immediately comment on the latest lawsuit. Tony Buzbee, the attorney for the 23 plaintiffs, said “other cases may be brought against” Watson.

“The Watson defense team vilified these women and this cause,” he said in a statement. “Shame on them! We can’t wait to take this case to court.”

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