Deshaun Watson files his first court document in pending assault cases

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The Deshaun Watson litigation continues. For the first time, Watson has filed paperwork in support of his position.

Attorney Rusty Hardin has filed a motion to strike the complaint filed by one of his 22 accusers, with a requirement that the case be refiled in her real name.

Along with the eight-page filing, Hardin released a statement.

“We have said this before and we want to say it again,” Hardin said, “Deshaun did not force, coerce or intimidate anyone to do anything against their will. When we asked Mr. Buzbee to identify his clients weeks ago, he refused and told us to file a motion. Today we filed that motion. As discussed in our filing, Mr. Buzbee’s use of anonymous lawsuits violates Texas law and the basic concept of fairness. It is clear that, for Mr. Buzbee, this case has never been about seeking justice in a courtroom, but destroying Deshaun’s reputation to enhance his own public profile and enrich himself.  While I understand that anonymity often is used as a shield for victims, Mr. Buzbee is using it as a sword. While shielding his clients from public scrutiny, Mr. Buzbee continues to use their anonymous allegations to destroy Mr. Watson. This is simply not right. And we look forward to resolving these matters in court.”

The filing, made in the case filed by Jane Doe No. 7, comes two days after two of the plaintiffs disclosed their identities: Ashely Solis and Lauren Baxley. Presumably, similar motions will be filed in all cases in which the plaintiff is proceeding with a pseudonym.

It’s unclear whether the ongoing effort to undermine Buzbee will register in the court of public opinion, where many believe the battle already has been lost. Obviously, Buzbee’s words and motivations ultimately will mean nothing when it’s time for the parties to present evidence and argument in support of the plaintiffs’ position that Watson committed wrongdoing and Watson’s position that he did not.

48 responses to “Deshaun Watson files his first court document in pending assault cases

  1. Buzbee is doing his job; you may not like it, but, being well-liked is not what he is being paid to do. Which calls into question exactly why Hardin continues to incriminate his own client.

  2. This guy got some really bad advice. He should have settled these cases quietly and avoided the massive circus this has all become

  3. Why is Hardin only filing this motion in the Jane Doe #7 case? Will the same motion to disclose the identity of the complainant be filed in the other cases?

  4. tony buzbee is trying his case in social media hiding behind jane does.
    any reputable attorney wouldnt do business this way.
    no dog in the fight but he seems like a charlatan to me.

  5. It’s entirely possible to think Deshaun Watson probably did something wrong AND to be disgusted with the way Buzbee is handling this.

  6. I feel Watson’s biggest problem is the number of massage therapists in general. 22 against him and 18 for him. That makes 40.

    Sounds like a lot to me. However i am not an athlete in NFL. is that many to one athlete common?

  7. I’m not so sure the court of public opinion has been lost, especially in Houston where the potential jury will be pooled.

  8. So I can’t defend my client’s actions so I will attack the lawyer of the accusers and not even their claims. Either Harden is the worse lawyer to ever pass the bar or Watson is so incredibly guilty that he simply doesn’t know where to turn.

  9. Yes, because public opinion is where this should be waged. Why hasn’t someone put a gag on Buzbee if he chose to go this route?

  10. I’m not an attorney, and in situations like this one I do my best to draw my own conclusions based on what we know so far as fact. Fact 1 – DeShaun Watson and his legal team have already acknowledged that Watson has met women in hotel rooms for what were supposed to be massages, and so far we know for a fact he’s met at least 40 and counting. That Fact raises a ton of questions. Fact 2 – DeShaun Watson’s legal team has already stated that any sexual conduct between their client, and any women he’s had contact with was consensual, and nothing inappropriate has ever occurred. That fact once again raises many questions as well. Like were you scheduling these massages thinking they would all end the same way, and when they didn’t you just assumed your conduct would be OK.
    Fact 3 – Watson paid for a woman to fly from Atlanta to meet him for a massage. Why would you need to fly a massage therapist all the way from Atlanta to meet you? There weren’t any local available to see you? Just based on these 3 facts there are plenty of questions people like myself have that are going to come up in the court proceedings, and although none of these questions automatically mean anything inappropriate happened they leave room for that possibility. In a civil proceeding if a jury believes the victim the accused loses that’s just how it works. Based on those basic questions I just raised I think he’s in trouble… Serious trouble

  11. Personally I don’t believe either of them and am awaiting facts to draw my conclusions, not hear say.

  12. “Deshaun did not force, coerce or intimidate anyone to do anything against their will.”

    Which admits ‘something’ happened…his stance is apparently that it was ‘consensual’. You can’t mix consensual activities with paid service providers, do so with countless women, and claim you did nothing wrong. That’s inappropriate behavior. Whether it’s deemed illegal remains to be seen…but legal or not, it was inappropriate.

  13. ivotedfornixon says: “I feel Watson’s biggest problem is the number of massage therapists in general. 22 against him and 18 for him. That makes 40.”
    ——————-

    And it’s very odd that NONE of the 18 massage therapists have said in their statements that they were willing to work on Watson in the future.

    Seriously, if you want them as character witnesses, wouldn’t it be more powerful to come out and just say they were 100% comfortable with a continued working relationship with Watson and they have no issue being alone with him?

  14. Attacking Buzbee instead of the complainants’ stories, names or no names, isn’t doing Deshaun any good. Buzbee isn’t the one who was allegedly assaulted.

  15. All of Hardin’s whining about anonymity is simply hogwash. Each complaint details the exact date and location of the activity. If Hardin or Watson cannot figure out who the women are based on that information they better give up now.

  16. More injustice and more women being pushed aside because of a rich and powerful NFL QB. Where’s Kap on this?

  17. Judas, it’s a true shame/sham what social media accusations can do to a person. Watson may be guilty of having a strange fetish but from every bit of info I’ve seen, there has been ZERO assaults and the fact that at the time of said occurrences that NOT one of these women filed a police report immediately or within 48hrs is enough for me to wonder what exactly was happening during these massages. It’s clear that many have already pronounced him guilty just because of social media.

  18. I hope his attorney got a mass retainer because this dudes estate is about to be obliterated and then he will go to jail if he’s guilty.

  19. Sounds like a lot to me. However i am not an athlete in NFL. is that many to one athlete common?
    —-
    I’m sure many of us are wondering the same. With that many you have to question if most will only work with him once, or is he just filtering his way through them to find the attractive ones.

  20. Gee I wonder what negative emotion would prompt a female not to file in Texas, a sexual complaint against a prominent Texas sports figure??? Maybe it’s due toe the fact how Texas has treated women filing sexual assault cases in the past– and the stigma that comes with it — sexual trauma victims are treated poorly – and have a right to have their name kept out of public documents

  21. Anonymity protects the victims who already had to deal with the assault. Trying to ‘out’ them is bullying to get them to stop. Hardin should be disbarred.

  22. Interesting that Watson – who claims this never happened, hasn’t counter-sued for slander/liable/defamation of character at all.

    Would be a pretty slam dunk case if nothing happened. One would think.

  23. Have there been any allegations of assault? Seems probable the guy is a phony, a lech, a bit of a perv and probably not respectful of women. Don’t like it, wouldn’t want him representing my organization, but was there a crime? Rothlisberger and manning actually assaulted women and remain in good standing.

  24. This strikes me as a form of victim intimidation. The implication is that “oh, you’re going to mess with my client? Well, then your name is going to be out in public!” with all that implies. It doesn’t take long to find misogynists/harassment in the social media toilet (twitter, etc.).

  25. chefboyd says:
    April 8, 2021 at 1:03 pm
    ivotedfornixon says: “I feel Watson’s biggest problem is the number of massage therapists in general. 22 against him and 18 for him. That makes 40.”
    ——————-

    And it’s very odd that NONE of the 18 massage therapists have said in their statements that they were willing to work on Watson in the future.

    Seriously, if you want them as character witnesses, wouldn’t it be more powerful to come out and just say they were 100% comfortable with a continued working relationship with Watson and they have no issue being alone with him?
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________
    I guess when they said that he was polite and completely professional and couldn’t see him doing the mentioned misconduct just didn’t go far enough for you. If they got hosed down and were willing to get hosed down again and made the statement they’d work with him again then you’d be okay.

  26. I am so sick of hearing about this pervert, just lock him up and be done with it

  27. I feel Watson’s biggest problem is the number of massage therapists in general. 22 against him and 18 for him. That makes 40. Sounds like a lot to me. However i am not an athlete in NFL. is that many to one athlete common?
    —————————-
    There’s no way every single massage therapist Watson used weighed in on one side or the other. 40 have either filed suit or publicly defended him. How many decided to stay out of this mess? Another 20?

  28. short, stocky bald man says:
    April 8, 2021 at 2:05 pm
    I am so sick of hearing about this pervert, just lock him up and be done with it.
    —–

    It’s a shame we don’t have critical thinkers anymore. People don’t go to jail when they haven’t been charged let alone convicted of a crime. These are Civil cases. Maybe you should learn about our laws and case types before making yourself look incompetent.

  29. The thing is that Hardin’s words are very well-chosen — Watson didn’t force, coerce or intimidate. Under that definition, showing his schwantz, thrusting, etc may not apply or even apply to a criminal level; however, those acts can constitute harassment in a civil context. By those words it sounds to me that Hardin recognizes he has a problem and is trying to limit criminal exposure.

  30. Boy o Boy, if it comes out that Watson did nothing wrong, I want to see a whole lot of people get sued. Because no amount of money can clear his reputation at this point. So he better be guilty or else these women should never be allowed to hide or run from this.

  31. The very moment Watson signed the huge contract, then shortly thereafter decided “I’m way to wealthy to play for this bunch of losers.” Somewhere out of the blue a very greedy lawyer and droves of money hungry ladies appeared from nowhere

  32. wintercoates87 says:
    April 8, 2021 at 1:23 pm
    Judas, it’s a true shame/sham what social media accusations can do to a person. Watson may be guilty of having a strange fetish but from every bit of info I’ve seen, there has been ZERO assaults and the fact that at the time of said occurrences that NOT one of these women filed a police report immediately or within 48hrs is enough for me to wonder what exactly was happening during these massages. It’s clear that many have already pronounced him guilty just because of social media.

    –Wintercoates87 – what rock do you live under. Do you realize how many women are assaulted and raped that do not go to the police and file due to shame, shame on their families, scared of how they will be treated now and in the future, keeping their jobs just to name a few, thinking it may have been their fault. Now add-in that it is a big time NFL QB – who are the police going to believe even if they do investigate. It becomes a he said, she said game and we usually know who wins in this situation – the mega rich sports star. I am not saying who is being honest one way or another, but there are too many involved to not have the truth somewhere in the middle with some actually having felt threatened and put into a compromised position.

  33. The best defense is a good offense. I think the Watson team is about to file a serious counterclaim against some people that may include Buzbee.

  34. The most important thing is both lawyers drag this out as long as possible to keep both their names in the news cycle.

  35. The reason why Buzbee will be part of a counterclaim is that would put Buzbee in line for a deposition under oath where he will not be asked about what was said between him and his clients, but (1) whether there was any contact with the Houston Texans management prior to Buzbee’s interactions with his clients, and (2) the names and dates of any and all discussions Buzbee had with anyone, other than his clients, prior to the filing of the Watson lawsuits. Throw a wide net, and catch dinner for a month of Sundays.

  36. Less get to the chase. Follow the money. Case close. Its almost always the money. I have read a lot about this deal. So far it seem to me that it will come down to sha said/ he said. Bill

  37. his rep as a good guy was also silly .. why did he need an image? .. once a dog always a dog .. if he understands money, he can retire and continue with his rubdowns. Imagine if this was your daughter!

  38. Treat somebody like they’re untouchable and they’re going to believe they’re untouchable…no matter what.

  39. Nike.
    Standing up for what’s right.
    Well, not ALL the way up.
    Just a little bit up.
    They reserve the right to sit back down.
    They’re classy like that.

  40. The biggest problem now for Watson and his legal team is there is now a criminal investigation where Watson will be asked questions if he lies could become perjury criminal charges. What ever he says those interviews can be then used in the civil case. So it looks like his lawyer is now admitting to the behaviors but it was all “consensual.” His endorsements are gone for good, his best option is to settle with every one to preserve his NFL career (like all the others AB, Ben, Ray, Vick etc). If he is lucky if the Texans are one of Roger’s protected teams like KC he may only serve a game suspension if that.

  41. Christopher Allan says: “I guess when they said that he was polite and completely professional and couldn’t see him doing the mentioned misconduct just didn’t go far enough for you.”
    ————————

    Just because he didn’t sexually assault 100% of the massage therapists he’s worked with, doesn’t mean he didn’t assault the 24 women who did accuse him.

    I believe they called that the “Chewbacca Defense” in that it DOES NOT refute anything he’s accused of.

  42. Read the quote that Hardin put out (the one in the article) and it seems clear he isn’t denying all of this happened, but implies that the women made the decision for Watson… Is Hardin an idiot?

  43. Even if he is vindicated, the legal fees alone will be enough to bankrupt Watson.

  44. I am still amazed how stupid many in the public are, and continue to jump to conclusions without all the evidence (or any?). How many times has someone been convicted in the media and court of public opinion only to be proven innocent. Sit back, shut up and let this all play out.

  45. “While I understand that anonymity often is used as a shield for victims, Mr. Buzbee is using it as a sword. While shielding his clients from public scrutiny,”

    … sooo it is being used as a shield then.
    Anonymity in these cases exists for good reason, and it’s for the protection of the accusers, just look at the type of comments that are about on twitter, if the names come out these women will be dragged through the mud.

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