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.