This is the 26th lawsuit filed against Watson by women accusing him of sexual misconduct during massage sessions, and becomes the second active process. A lawsuit was withdrawn and Watson reaches colonies along with 23 of her accusers, according to women’s attorney Anthony Buzbee.
The woman who filed the lawsuit on Thursday is not represented by Buzbee. The attorney listed on her lawsuit is Anissah M. Nguyen of Houston.
Watson was unavailable for comment, while his attorney, Rusty Hardin, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday evening. Watson has not been charged with a crime and has previously denied the allegations made against him by the other women.
“I’m moving on with my career, my life, and I will continue to stand on my innocence,” Watson said during an Aug. 18 news conference at the Browns’ training facility in Berea, Ohio. “Just because settlements and things like that are happening doesn’t mean a person is guilty of anything.”
It was not immediately clear Thursday night whether the new allegation could affect the settlement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association by which Watson was suspended for 11 games and fined $5 million for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Neither the league nor the NFLPA immediately responded to a request for comment. The settlement would have covered cases reviewed by Sue L. Robinson, the former U.S. District Judge who is the disciplinary officer jointly appointed by the league and the NFLPA, and any substantially similar violation prior to the date of the league’s agreement. and the union.
Watson returned to the Browns’ practice facility on Monday, the first day he was allowed to join the team under his suspension. He could return to practice Nov. 14 and is eligible to play in a Dec. 4 game in Houston against the Texans, his former team. The settlement also required Watson to undergo a professional assessment and treatment plan. The Browns did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The new lawsuit lists his causes of action as civil assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and seeks unspecified damages. He says the woman is a licensed massage therapist who was working from home during the pandemic and traveling to meet with some clients. Watson contacted her by direct message on Instagram, according to the lawsuit, requesting a massage on Dec. 17, 2020. The woman had had no previous contact with Watson and had not worked with any other Texas players, according to the lawsuit.
She met Watson at the Houstonian Hotel on or about December 18, 2020, according to the lawsuit. As the woman was setting up her massage table, Watson walked into a bathroom, removed her clothes, and walked out with only a towel, according to the lawsuit. He “continually pressured” the woman “to massage her private area,” the lawsuit says, then “removed her towel and offered to let her ‘ride on top.’ at trial, who added that Watson paid him $300.
The woman has “suffered from severe depression and anxiety” as a result of Watson’s behavior and is seeking counseling, the lawsuit says.