If there was any doubt (and there shouldn’t have been) regarding Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson‘s first substantive response to the civil charges against him, there should be none now. His lawyer, Rusty Hardin, admits that Watson and his lawyers believe that the women suing Watson are lying.
“Today we answered the lawsuits filed against our client Deshaun Watson,” Hardin said in a statement. “Mr. Watson has been adamant that he did not engage in any improper conduct and we strongly believe him. Therefore, the answer to the question of whether we are saying that all 22 plaintiffs are lying about the allegations of sexual misconduct by Mr. Watson is a resounding yes.
“We and Mr. Watson take allegations of sexual misconduct against women very seriously, as we all should. We have waited to respond to the numerous allegations made by Mr. Buzbee and his clients until we could responsibly investigate. In the few days since his accusers’ names have been revealed, as was required by Texas law, we are discovering an avalanche of false accusations.
“Only two of these 22 lawsuits allege forced sexual activity, which Mr. Watson vehemently denies. In the case of Sheneé Lawson, her business manager acknowledged to Mr. Watson’s marketing manager that the contact was consensual, but she still wanted money. And in the case of Marchelle Davis, witnesses state that Ms. Davis was happy and excited after she massaged Mr. Watson. She lied about being alone at the spa with him. She knew there was a security guard present at all times when Mr. Watson was there. In addition, she told witnesses that if Mr. Watson had paid her off, she would have supported him instead of suing him.
“I hope everyone will take a fair and measured look at these accusations as we go forward in these cases. We certainly welcome anyone with relevant information to contact us. We do not expect to make any other comment today. The next hearing in this case is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.”
At some point, a scheduling order will be entered in these cases, setting forth various dates and deadlines regarding the pre-trial activities during which the parties will search for evidence to support and/or refute the various claims.
A settlement is possible at any time. Today’s activities on Watson’s behalf quite possibly are intended to pressure the plaintiffs to come to the table.