Lawyer says sexual assault lawsuit has been filed against Deshaun Watson

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The Deshaun Watson saga has taken an unexpected turn.

A sexual assault lawsuit has been filed against the Texans quarterback. Attorney Tony Buzbee disclosed the litigation on Tuesday night. Buzbee tells FOX 26 that Watson was receiving a massage from a female and Watson “went too far.”

In a Tuesday night social media message, Watson addressed the situation.

“As a result of a social-media post by a publicity-seeking plaintiff’s lawyer, I recently became aware of a lawsuit that has apparently been filed against me,” Watson writes. “I have not yet seen the complaint, but I know this: I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect. The plaintiff’s lawyer claims that this isn’t about money, but before filing suit he made a baseless six-figure settlement demand, which I quickly rejected. Unlike him, this isn’t about money for me — it’s about clearing my name, and I look forward to doing that.”

The civil justice system has a low bar for proving allegations, and an even lower bar for making them. Watson may indeed be right, but there’s a process he’ll now have to navigate in order to prove it.

Ultimately, it could come down to his word against the word of the alleged victim. That’s something that a jury would have to resolve after hearing testimony and studying witness demeanor at trial.

Again, Watson may be fully in the right. But no civil lawsuit is dismissed simply because the defendant regards the claim as baseless — most defendants in these situations do. The evidence that is or isn’t developed will result in a conclusion as to whether the charges do or don’t have merit, absent a settlement of the case.

Separate from the civil justice system is the NFL’s in-house procedure for determining whether a violation of the Personal Conduct Policy has occurred. The league often investigates such claims separate from the formal legal process. It remains to be seen what the league will do in this case; the first step will surely entail a full examination of the legal filing.

58 responses to “Lawyer says sexual assault lawsuit has been filed against Deshaun Watson

  1. Wow,…I am shocked. Never expected his name to be connected to something like this. Maybe the Jets should draft Zach Wilson instead.

  2. I don’t believe this for a second. Hope Watson sues all these people for everything their worth.

  3. Such bad timing for Watson. Hopefully the “legal system” will find him innocent

  4. You never truly know people, especially people you haven’t met, but he doesn’t seem like that kind of guy to me. It’ll be interesting to see the facts of this case and then make an informed opinion on the subject. Does this make the Texans want to trade him now? Is this why they signed Tyrod Taylor? Is this going to affect offers from teams for Watson? Are teams that were interested in him going to walk away from the negotiating table now? This saga is the never ending story.

  5. This is explosive as far as it’s ramifications for Watson, whether true or false. If true, obviously we go down that road. If not it will massively have played a role in the most important moment of his professional life as far as trying to secure employment where he hopes to since that’s obviously not Houston in his eyes. I think this stops the presses on his immediate prospects of being traded if for no other reason than a new GM and owner will be loathe to have that mess arrive with their new shiny signing. Hope it’s not true

  6. I bet the Texans wished they traded him now because his value just went down with a possible suspension coming from the NFL. Ezekiel Elliott was suspended w/o any evidence or charges. So there’s a good chance Watson will miss 4-6 games also. Not saying it’s right because it’s not right but…..

  7. Ordinarily I would say that if he got a jury of Texans fans, he wouldn’t have any problem.
    However now, he better hope he gets a jury that doesn’t care anything about football in Houston.

  8. Not a good look to have this going on and to be continuing to holdout for a trade. The longer this legal drama goes on the more it’ll damage him. Plus nearly all his potential trade destinations have brought in guys to start at QB. It’s game over, whether or not he knows it. He would be well-advised to make up with the Texans and get back to work.

  9. Do these athletes ever learn. This man sure seems to have a lot of drama with him as of late.

  10. Hmmmm….how convenient that this comes up right when the team needs some leverage on a player with a clean image.

  11. If the league imposes punishment, that might lead to the voiding of Watson’s signing bonus and make a trade much easier.

  12. Unless there’s video evidence…ah nevermind…not even that matters anymore…

  13. Will be settled out of court, although if I was truly innocent I would let it go to court and play out.

  14. I am not attacking Watson’s character based on an accusation, but he’s had one memorable off season!

  15. A civil lawsuit that occurs before any criminal charges always convinces me that the person is only after money, not justice.

  16. That could be the case, but the fact is the burden of proof is much higher in a criminal case than a civil case. So just because there wasn’t enough evidence to charge someone criminally doesn’t mean they dont believe there isn’t more than enough to win a civil suit.

  17. Don’t NFL teams have a team masseuse or do players just go to local massage parlors? Maybe since he’s looking for a trade he isn’t at the facility, or the pandemic prevents massages at the Texans facility right now. Looks like a money grab to me. Watson has always seemed like a high character guy even though I don’t totally agree with his need to have a say in coaching hires.

  18. I just hope for Watson’s sake that given the circumstances, things play out in the judicial system vs. the court of public opinion.

  19. I hate stuff like this. First, sexual assault needs to be taken seriously, of course. But making a public announcement just doesn’t sit right. Half will convict and condemn Watson for the rest of his life, even if charges are dropped; the other half will label the accuser as a gold digger, or whatever. These things being thrown around in public does nothing to serve justice.

    I also don’t like that the lawyer approached Watson about a settlement before he filed the lawsuit. That doesn’t feel right. Maybe that’s standard practice? I don’t know. But it says something, to me anyway, that Watson refused to settle.

    “Went too far” is far too vague and comes across as weak. See? I’m already judging base on nothing.

  20. Let it play out first.

    Then if the facts presented show foul play then let the courts decide justice

    All the rest is a smoke show for now…

    I hope it works out for Deshaun. He seems like a good kid.

  21. Seems very suspect that the lawyer asked for a six figure settlement which Watson rejected then filed a civil lawsuit without first filing a criminal complaint.

    This meets every possibility of a money grab. If this actually happened, then there would be first criminal complaint. I seriously doubt this makes it to trial unless there is some very strong evidence and not just a claim by the alleged victim.

  22. Innocent until proven guilty is all well and good, as is believe women. But this is not a criminal case. It’s a civil one and DW is going to get tried and convicted in the court of public opinion. Regardless of the outcome, this will be associated with him from now on. If he did it, that’s absolutely as it should be. But if he didn’t? Where does he go to get his reputation back?

  23. Sorry, but in my opinion, why do you ever have a lawyer unless you’re guilty? I’ve never needed or hired one, so not sure.

  24. The timing of this lawsuit couldn’t be much more interesting, and correspondingly, much less of a coincidence.

  25. Watson value just took a nosedive even if this isnt true, wonder what executive came up with this to destroy the trade chances.

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