Witness in Deshaun Watson cases repeatedly invokes the Fifth Amendment

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The 22 civil cases pending against Deshaun Watson, which a pre-trade deadline effort to settle all of them failed to accomplish, proceed through the so-called discovery phase. Tony Buzbee, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, recently discovered something interesting.

In a statement released to Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston, Buzbee claims that a witness who “allegedly worked closely with the Texans” and “coordinated massage sessions for Watson” repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination while testifying.

“That witness spent the entire hour of the deposition asserting her Fifth Amendment privilige [sic],” Buzbee said. “Indeed, she wouldn’t even admit that she knew Deshaun Watson.”

The witness isn’t named. An excerpt of the transcript was provided to Berman.

Questions that prompted the invocation of the Fifth Amendment included, for example, whether the witness knew Watson “had a fetish to go to a massage and then try to convince the unsuspecting therapist to have sex with him.”

Watson can be questioned under oath after the Super Bowl. Buzbee said 13 of the 22 plaintiffs already have been questioned under oath by Watson’s legal team, which is led by Rusty Hardin.

A grand jury has been investigated whether Watson’s alleged misconduct violates any relevant criminal laws. Watson remains under contract to the Texans. They surely would like to trade him. The unresolved legal issue continues to be an impediment to any trade and, in turn, to the resumption of his career. Watson didn’t play at all in 2021.

45 responses to “Witness in Deshaun Watson cases repeatedly invokes the Fifth Amendment

  1. Banned for life, 1 or 2 cases might be extortion, but 20+ with “witnesses for the defense” lying means there is something rotten in Denmark for those still holding out and thinking that Watson is/was unjustifiably accused.

  2. Watson can be questioned under oath after the Super Bowl.


    I must have missed something… why can’t he be questioned under oath before the super bowl?

  3. I can’t see teams ponying up to bring Watson in for the huge contract. Then you get the outrage by the people in the new city. Teams waiting to see if he’ll be criminally charged and if he is it’s over for him. Fired with cause

  4. Buzbee knows there is no significance to her pleading the 5th to whether she even knows Watson or not. Once a witness decides to invoke the 5th, the do it for every question no matter how mundane or obvious. It is not unusual at all.

    And the question you cite is the exact example of why witnesses plead the 5th. If she says yes to that question, she sets herself up to her own civil liability. Why would she do that?

  5. Buzbee isn’t happy, only the clients he has represented in the past should be able to invoke the fifth. Isn’t that right Buz old boy.

  6. So this DW damaging factoid comes from the plaintiffs attorney?
    The same Buzbee that never turns down a chance to promote himself?


  7. Oh….so she worked for the texans, coordinated his massages and pleaded the 5th? The plot thickens. Sounds like the texans may have set him up afterall.

  8. Of course she pleads the fifth. She was the one helping setting up some of the massages and there is already evidence that she knew what was going on when masseuses’ would call her and complain.

  9. Been puzzled about all this talk about Watson going to Giants or Miami, etc.
    If it was one or two accusers, being that he is a rich, he can get himself the best law that money can buy and walk. O.J. showed how it is done a long time ago.
    But 22? Dude’s next home address is going to be The Big House.
    Maybe he can QB the immates team against the guards. Like Adam Sandler
    But less funny.

  10. Watson is talented but he’s a creep,quitter and extremely phony. Wouldn’t trust him to lead my team.

  11. There is a criminal investigation ongoing. If you assert the Fifth, you have to continue to assert it. You can’t testify about one thing and then assert the fifth later. She obviously did what her (competent) lawyer advised her to do. Buzbee knows this, and implying that she is hiding something, or is somehow doing anything wrong is a cheap shot at this witness.

  12. He’s untradable right now. A team cannot take the chance with his precarious legal situation and the awful reflection on an organization acquiring a player that could be found criminally liable for these kind of offences would be too much. Tantalizing talent but what a bad look on the team overlooking these serious allegations to get a football player.

  13. It’s not against the law to ask if somebody wants to get busy with you. If that was true, almost every guy (and some women) in every bar and club across America would be criminals

  14. What do you mean by “the so-called discovery phase”? Was this part of the trial’s discovery phase or are you insinuating this questioning was somehow extralegal?

  15. The Texans’ employee who arranged the massage sessions for Watson is wise to invoke the Fifth Amendment. If the masseuses subsequently complained to her about Watson’s potentially criminal acts and the employee continued to arrange sessions anyway, conspiracy statutes could then come into play and she would/might be in legal peril. Best to keep quiet.

  16. The question is if he’s cleared on everything is he going to be clear headed and be effective again? Big chance!

  17. The Fifth Amendment is civil cases is interesting. If a witness takes it, there is not much that can be done. Offering immunity would not work, since you cannot combine civil and criminal.

    However, if Watson goes that route, in a civil case it can be held against him. A jury would be advised that they can take whatever inference from it that they find appropriate.

  18. DW should go play in the USFL. He doesn’t need the money, Texans are paying him, he could be that league’s marquee star.

  19. didnthearwhat says:
    January 28, 2022 at 9:05 am
    It’s not against the law to ask if somebody wants to get busy with you. If that was true, almost every guy (and some women) in every bar and club across America would be criminals


    It is if the answer was No and it certainly appears that way according to 22 women!

  20. Frankly, I’m pretty surprised none of the other depo testimony has leaked if they’ve taken that many. You’d think it would be self-serving for either side to leak favorable testimony. Pleading the 5th in civil cases, while a witness’ legal right, leads to dangerous implications as guilt, and therefore liability (subject to a lesser standard of proof) is usually inferred by the fact finder. It may seem like a victory for the Watson team in the discovery phase, but it will ultimately hurt more than help at trial.

  21. While everyone has the right to take the 5th, and we are not supposed to read into it, the fact of the matter is that people only take the 5th if their accusations are lies or if they are hiding criminal activity that would be exposed.

    Innocent people don’t take the 5th.

  22. Tabasco says:
    January 28, 2022 at 8:53 am

    Is Buzzbee allowed to make information from a Grand Jury public like this?


    Buzbee’s not talking about the grand jury, he’s talking about a deposition from the civil suit.

  23. I’ve said it before…who wants Watson to be the face of their franchise? Fan bases certainly don’t want him, no matter how good he is.

  24. laxcoach37 says:
    January 28, 2022 at 10:18 am
    didnthearwhat says:
    January 28, 2022 at 9:05 am
    It’s not against the law to ask if somebody wants to get busy with you. If that was true, almost every guy (and some women) in every bar and club across America would be criminals


    It is if the answer was No and it certainly appears that way according to 22 women!

    If 22 women said NO and he didn’t take it further, where’s the crime? Being a creepy, disgusting person isn’t against the law.

  25. My wild guess is this GJ is for the criminal investigation. She probably doesnt want to spill any beans or dirt but you can bet will blab it up in the civil trial until they pop for some big money.
    these women just want a big payday not to put the guy away

  26. There won’t be any conviction because there are and will be no charges. This is he said they said for money. Your biased opinion on the matter is meaningless to the NFL or the courts.

  27. If Watson loses any of these cases the Texans are stuck with him. They made a huge mistake not getting rid of him last year. Supposedly they had a deal with Miami for a boatload of picks. As it is they may end up getting nothing and have to fight about his contract. The GM there is even worse than BoB.

  28. You people watch too much tv. In real life, a witness can’t plead the 5th just because they don’t like the question or the door it opens. If Buzbee wants the answer bad enough, he can go back to Court and obtain an order compelling an answer. If the witness still refuses, she can be held in contempt and thrown in jail until she answers. The reason Buzbee hasn’t done this yet is because a 5th looks much worse than the answer itself. He can get what’s called a “negative inference” at trial which is extremely valuable. A negative inference instruction allows the jury to presume the answer would be the worst. More often than not, the negative inference is worse than the actual answer.

  29. The law is incredibly complex. Don’t assume that asserting a Constitutional right means she committed a crime.

  30. People crack me up. If you want your personal opinion to be that you don’t want him on your team and he’s a bad guy that’s fine. But if there were criminal charges going to be filed, they would’ve been filed a long time ago. I hate to say it but he did the right thing by sitting this out. Right or wrong they have nothing. Buzbee thought he would settle for millions to make it go away. Buzbee didn’t count on nobody wanting their name out there including the people he’s defending. There’s no proof obviously. I think he’s a slime, but he isn’t going to prison, he may offer a pittance to make this go away and if he does it’s a 4 game suspension. If he doesn’t he’s playing game 1 for either WFT or the Eagles.

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