On Tuesday, a 23rd woman filed a lawsuit against Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. On Tuesday night, lawyer Rusty Hardin issued a statement that aggressively challenges the validity of the new claim.
“Deshaun Watson vehemently denies the allegations, just as he has since she first discussed them with members of our firm in March of last year,” Hardin said. “She repeated the allegations on social media in August and he denied them then. The only thing new about her contentions is the embellishment making them more extreme than prior versions. Deshaun’s denial remains the same.”
The 23rd plaintiff apparently contends that two of Hardin’s colleagues tried to talk her out of making claims against Watson. (We have not yet seen the new complaint.)
“The two highly respected lawyers from our firm, Letitia Quinones and Rachel Lewis, also vehemently deny there was any coercion or intimidation involved in the very cordial meeting at Vic and Anthony’s,” Hardin said. “They met her to see if she was one of Mr. Buzbee’s then still anonymous plaintiffs. At that time Mr. Buzbee refused to identify his clients. The suggestion that either of these two accomplished lawyers would have said ‘us black women must stick together’ is absurd. The interview was so congenial, she joined the lawyers for dinner afterwards.”
The new plaintiff, like the other 22, is represented by Tony Buzbee. Hardin’s team has tried to make Buzbee the focal point of their attack, accusing him of pushing these cases to enhance his social-media following and to score interviews on shows like Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.
“We are aware that more than a year ago she had other lawyers representing her and they ultimately terminated the representation,” Hardin said. “This plaintiff has long had a vendetta against Deshaun since she jealously and angrily published Deshaun’s personal data on social media in November 2020. In filing her lawsuit now she was obviously not influenced by recent developments. We are not surprised Mr. Buzbee was willing to say just about anything to get more publicity. He knows the NFL continues to investigate these cases, and this is a transparent attempt to further punish the man he sees as a potential payday.”
Watson consistently has denied the accusations made by those who are suing him. Regardless, there are now 23 different women suing him. Barring settlement or dismissal, there will be 23 trials, eventually. The fact that the 23rd suit has been filed now virtually guarantees that this legal odyssey will last through 2023 and likely into 2024.