The lawsuits against Deshaun Watson keep growing by the day, as the quarterback’s former employer is now set to be listed as a defendant. Lawyer Tony Buzbee, who represents the 24 women suing Watson for sexual misconduct, is adding the Houston Texans organization and others as defendants to the suits.
Buzbee including the Texans as a defendant comes on the heels of a New York Times report that the Texans provided Watson with a membership to a hotel where some of the massages took place. A Texans employee allegedly provided Watson with a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) that Watson later used for his appointments; and that multiple women who did not sue Watson or go to the police with their allegations.
The Times also reported that Watson booked appointments with at least 66 massage therapists over a 17-month period from fall 2019 through spring 2021. That number is in contradiction with Watson’s public statements that he hired around 40 massage therapists during his five seasons with the Texans.
“Based on what we have learned from the Houston Police Department, we will soon be joining the Houston Texans organization and others as defendants in the ongoing lawsuits against Deshaun Watson. Our team has thoroughly vetted each case. We are considering many others.
“These women are the true heroes in this sordid story. What has become clear is that the Houston Texans organization and their contradicting ‘massage therapy company’ facilitated Deshaun Watson’s conduct. In many of these cases, the Texans provided the opportunity for this conduct to occur.
“We believe the Texans organization was well aware of Watson’s issues, but failed to act. They knew or certainly should have known. The Houston Texans organization provided rooms for Watson at the high-end Houstonian hotel for his ‘massages’ and also provided massage tables and other support for Watson’s proclivities — ostensibly to protect their ‘asset.’
“We intend to make sure all involved in Watson’s conduct are to be held accountable — including himself.”
The Texans did not respond specifically to the allegations in the New York Times story, but have made statements that the organization was unaware of Watson’s actions until the first first lawsuit was filed in March 2021.
The NFL was “nearing the end of the investigative period” regarding these allegations late last month, but two more women being added to the lawsuit may delay a potential decision. With the lawsuit growing and one of the franchises involved, the league could pivot toward another decision in the days to come.