Deshaun Watson faces new 2020 massage stemming lawsuit

BEREA, Ohio — Another woman has filed a civil lawsuit against deshaun watsonclaiming the suspension cleveland browns The quarterback pressured her into oral sex during a massage session in 2020.

It is the 26th known lawsuit filed against Watson, accusing him of sexual misconduct or sexual assault during massages.

In the lawsuit filed this Thursday in Harris County (Texas), Watson is accused of requesting the plaintiff through Instagram with a direct message for a massage in a Houston hotel room in Texas in December 2020, while he was a member of the jeans. The lawsuit states that during the session, Watson “continually pressed [the plaintiff] in massaging her private area” before he “removed the towel” and “offered to let her ‘get on top.'” According to the suit, the plaintiff “refused to have sex with Watson, however he was able to pressure her into oral ” and “Watson paid [the plaintiff] $300 for his services, although his normal charge was $115 for an hour of massage.”

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff has “suffered from severe depression and anxiety” since the alleged incident.

“My client’s experience with Deshaun Watson follows a series of eerily similar encounters reported by more than 20 women who filed a lawsuit against the NFL superstar,” the woman’s attorney, Anissah Nguyen, told ESPN. “Like so many others, my client spent almost two years struggling to cope with the shame and trauma of all that she had stolen from him and the daily pain that had become a reality for her.

“Learning about her story will lead to difficult conversations, criticism and even victim blaming. The strength and bravery of these other women gave my client the courage to stand up and speak out. She is seeking justice not just for herself and her own healing, but for the more than 20 women who refused to be shamed and silenced, and the victims who have not yet come forward.”

Watson settled 23 of the lawsuits against her last summer, but one is still pending, according to the plaintiff’s attorney, Tony Buzbee, who also represented the other women who had sued. A lawsuit was dismissed after a judge ruled that the plaintiffs should amend their motions to reveal their names. Two other women filed criminal complaints against Watson, but did not sue him.

In July, the Texans reached settlements with 30 women who made or were prepared to make claims against the NFL organization for what Buzbee called his alleged “enablement” of Watson’s behavior. The New York Times reported over the summer that the Texans had arranged for Watson to see massage therapists in a Houston hotel room.

Watson is serving an 11-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy by committing sexual assault on massage therapists, as defined by the NFL. On August 18, the NFL and the NFL Players Association reached an agreement on Watson’s suspension. He, too, was fined $5 million and had to undergo a mandatory treatment program.

Two grand juries in Texas declined to bring criminal charges against Watson earlier this year. But Sue L. Robinson, an independent arbitrator jointly appointed by the league and the players’ union, concluded that “the NFL had a burden to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that Mr. Watson engaged in a sexual assault.” Robinson also concluded in her report that Watson’s behavior was both “appalling” and “predatory.”

Watson has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and said people have not been interested in hearing his side of the story.

“I will continue to defend my innocence, just because, you know, settlements and things like that happen doesn’t mean a person is guilty of anything,” he said on August 18, after the settlement agreement. “I feel like a person has an opportunity to defend his innocence and prove it, and we proved it from a legal standpoint, and we will continue to move forward as an individual and as a person.”

Watson was allowed back into the Browns’ training facility this week after being suspended since Aug. 30 as part of the deal. He can’t practice with the team again until Nov. 14 and won’t be eligible to play until Week 13, when the Browns travel to face the Texans in Houston on Dec. 4.

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