Five women suing Deshaun Watson have spoken to police

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A Washington Post interview of attorney Tony Buzbee includes plenty of flavor and context regarding the maneuverings that happened between the lawyers handling the 22 civil cases filed against Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. The interview also has one significant bit of news.

Per Will Hobson of the Post, five of Buzbee’s clients have spoken to the Houston Police Department regarding Watson.

Watson has denied any an all wrongdoing.

Buzbee shared with Hobson details regarding efforts to settle the case. Buzbee reiterated his frustration with the failure of Watson’s management team to take the situation seriously before the first lawsuit was filed. After Buzbee made a $100,000 settlement demand on behalf of the first plaintiff to file suit, Scott Gaffield of Athletes First did not respond with a firm offer but asked Buzbee to replace his original request with a new one.

“He wanted us to bid against ourselves,” Buzbee told Hobson. “And I was done.”

Here’s something I can say with certainty based on 18 years of practicing law: That’s exactly how the legal sausage gets made. One side makes a demand, and the other side either responds to it (setting the stage for the exchange of further numbers) or doesn’t respond. Asking the party that made the opening demand to make a new demand constitutes a breach of negotiating etiquette, in every jurisdiction in the country if not the world.

Buzbee said that another attempt to settle the cases happened after Watson hired Rusty Hardin. At the time, three had been filed and four more were ready to go.

“Your guy’s got some kind of weird problem . . . alleged problem,” Buzbee said he told Hardin. “This is already spiraling in a bad direction. . . . Why don’t we try to resolve this now?”

Hardin asked for a day to explore the possibility. The next night, Hardin told Buzbee there would be no settlement.

Now with 22 plaintiffs, a settlement becomes complicated, nuanced, and unwieldy. What if some settle and some don’t? Watson needs to resolve all of the cases in order to clear the cloud that’s hovering over his career.

Currently, Buzbee doesn’t seem to be inclined to try. Part of his method could be to let Hardin and anyone who’s paying attention know that, if you don’t handle things the right way initially, you’ll soon wish you did. Buzbee also may be emboldened by some of the tactics that Hardin has employed, such as admitting publicly that Watson had sexual encounters with some massage therapists.

“So you’ve just told the world who’s watching that your client paid for sex? . . . My grandma always said: ‘You’re digging yourself a hole already. Stop digging,’” Buzbee said.

Hardin spoke briefly to Hobson regarding the things Buzbee said.

“There are many inaccuracies in what Tony has said, but I would rather address them in court filings than in an article,” Hardin told Hobson.

Buzbee told Hobson one more thing worth nothing. The lawyer said that he’d wager $100,000 that Watson’s managers wished they’d settled the case in February.

Frankly, I wouldn’t take the other side of that bet.

27 responses to “Five women suing Deshaun Watson have spoken to police

  1. How did all these women find the same lawyer, while at the same time none of them talked to the police before meeting this lawyer. Did the lawyer put out an ad looking for plaintiffs and that was how they end up with the same lawyer? I wonder.

  2. Buzbee tactics often appear slimy but he’s running circles around Hardin up to this point.

  3. I bet there are a lot more women looking to see what types of settlements get made so they can decide if putting themselves out there is worth it.

  4. People think that Buzbee is the sleazy ambulance chaser, but it looks like he’s a better attorney right now than Hardin. And he’s winning so far.

  5. I was always wondering if it was a smart move from Watsons camp to force the women to reveil their idendities. Once the idendity is reveiled, the women have no incentive NOT to talk to the police – or not to talk to the media. Both lawyers seem to be acting strangely, but they are highly paid, so they surely know what they are doing…

  6. At this point in time (and it may be too late) I don’t see any way out for Watson, other than a large settlement.

    The curve ball, is the criminal investigation. Can’t settle that with $$$$.

  7. Hey, I don’t even claim to be an armchair lawyer but, as has been said many times before, would Watson really have been in a better position today by settling that first lawsuit? Because once he gave in to Buzbee’s demands then when would it end?

    At least at this point Watson’s camp is still maintaining innocence – or at least denying wrongdoing. If the story was “Watson settles 25 sexual assault cases out of court” what does that look like? How is his reputation any better?

  8. Someone needs to tell Deshaun, that this problem isn’t going to go away by itself. Settle and apologize for your behavior.

  9. With five women discussing their cases with the Houston Police, settlement money becomes the least of Watson’s problems. Wow, what a mess.

  10. I just have a hard time believing someone is credible when they ask for 100k first. People who are legit go to the police not a lawyer. Especially not a lawyer who is neighbors and friends with the owner of the team.

  11. Everything was great in Watson’s life until he signed the huge contract with the Texans then shortly thereafter decided he had been disrespected and wanted to be traded.

  12. “After Buzbee made a $100,000 settlement demand on behalf of the first plaintiff to file suit, Scott Gaffield of Athletes First did not respond with a firm offer but asked Buzbee to replace his original request with a new one.”

    Buzbee should have responded, “OK, our new settlement demand is $150,000.”

  13. Serious issues with his behavior exist here. Let’s stop blaming women for the predatory behavior of a guy who has already admitted to paying massage therapists for sex. That admission makes it highly unlikely he could win in civil court. He’s likely going to settle these cases, and it’s going to be very costly

  14. Remember when this guy’s biggest issue in life is that that Texans didn’t include him on personnel decisions?

  15. The bottom line is how many of these women have evidence? My main concern is that the world has evolved to a place where accusations need only be made and they’re given validity. If most of this “stuff” is “he said, she said”, won’t it just be thrown out of court as it probably should be or will jurists be swayed by the accusers? There’s very little doubt in my mind that all this did take place based upon the sheer number of accusers but “beliefs” are not justification in a court of law. Regardless, I think Watson’s career is in jeopardy based on hearsay and that’s sad. 😭

  16. AFW says: “would Watson really have been in a better position today by settling that first lawsuit?”
    ——————–

    1000x YES.

    Other victims came forward only after seeing Ashley Solis was brave enough to file first. Once they knew they weren’t alone and Watson was a serial offender, they started to contact her lawyer too. If Watson had settled with her prior to that, a likely NDA would prevent those other women even knowing about other victims.

    Also, that lawyer Buzbee wouldn’t have known how far and wide Watson had gone. For all he knew, his client Solis was the only victim. It’s not like he had access to Watson’s calendar and knew which licensed massage therapist he used and called them up.

  17. 4 – 12 with Watson, 4 – 12 without Watson. Ultimately few people care whether Deshaun is behind center, or behind bars.

  18. If he is eventually going to settle, he should do so now before the discovery process starts and the deposition testimony starts leaking out every day, because if he does so later the damage will be done (or more damage will be done). Through all of this I can’t help but wonder if he’s still getting massages, which undoubtedly would be weird as hell.

  19. So Buzzbee himself calls it some kind of “weird problem” and never says the word or mentions the word “assualt”. It’s CLEAR that Watson had a chance to settle early on and chose not too. More then one of these so called massage therapists had consensual sex with Watson, and that’s fact. This whole case is being tried in social media and by Buzzbee, after saying that’s not how he operates. Yeah, LOL ok Saul. This will all come down to cash and that’s all. Wake me when Watson gets arrested, until then this is just one giant he said she said meladrama. Watson definitely seems to have a strange, very strange fetish, but some of the fish took the bait.

  20. IF as Buzbee said DW “paid for sex,” wouldn’t that incriminate the women as well for prostitution?

  21. I guess the NFL is lucky that the timing of the allegations came during the offseason, allowing them to sit on their hands as this plays out. I don’t see any way that Watson plays at the beginning of the season.

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