Nineteen women have sued Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson over the past 13 days for misconduct during massage sessions. A twentieth woman has not sued Watson yet; for now, she has told her story to Jenny Vrentas of SI.com.
The woman, known only as “Mary,” said that she provided a massage to Watson in 2019. According to Mary, “Watson’s conduct during their 2.5-hour session . . . was unlike anything she’s experienced from any other client she has treated.”
She says that Watson did not touch her and did not force her to engage in sexual acts. However, she contends that Watson “did engage in behavior that was both inappropriate and unlike any other interaction she’s had with any of her more than 1,000 clients — including other professional athletes — in her several years working as a massage therapist.”
After roughly 45 minutes into the session, Watson allegedly tossed a towel that was covering him on the floor, saying it was “too itchy.” He then “was lying face up on the table, naked and totally uncovered, something Mary says has never happened during any of her other massage appointments.”
Subsequent behavior from Watson caused Mary to believe that “his intentions were different” than simply obtaining a massage, and at one point she interpreted one of his comments as a suggestion to touch his exposed penis.
Vrentas corroborated Mary’s version of the events by reviewing text messages and social-media messages and by interviewing a family member to whom Mary sport in the immediate aftermath of the massage session.
Vrentas also secured this comment from Hardin: “We are just not in any position to comment in any way right now on another anonymous story or complaint. I just think it’s unfair to ask us to.”
Mary contacted lawyer Tony Buzbee’s firm regarding the complaints that were filed. She told Vrentas that Mary “felt pressured to sign a contract for them to represent her and declined.” Mary is currently working with another lawyer, U.A. Lewis, to explore her options.
“I just want a genuine apology, for us and our community, for putting us in these situations where we don’t know what to do,” Mary told Vrentas. “There are so many people that are against us, saying, ‘Why would he do that? He has no reason to do that. He has a beautiful girlfriend; he has this, this, this and this.’ All of those things are true, but fame doesn’t create character.”