The 23 lawsuits pending against Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson represent, for the most part, a contest of conflicting versions of events that transpired during massage sessions. There’s one witness, however, whose testimony potentially will support the argument that Watson had a habit of securing massages with the goal of having them become something more than massages.
Via Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today, Houston spa owner Dionne Louis testified in one of the cases pending against Watson that he paid her $5,000 because “he’s a nice person.”
Schrotenboer notes that at least three of the plaintiffs worked for Louis or were associated with her. The plaintiff who filed the most recent lawsuit against Watson, Nia Smith, specifically alleged that Louis facilitated massages for Watson and knew Watson was attempting to have sex with his massage therapists.
Footnote 4 to the petition filed by Nia Smith points out that Louis invoked the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination when asked about text messages she exchanged with Watson. Smith’s lawsuit includes text messages from Louis in which she says Watson gave her $5,000, and “I told you I’ll show you how to get money from men that’s my specialty.”
Reached by Schrotenboer, Louis said of Smith’s contentions, “All of that is ludicrous.” Louis also said Smith “has a pattern of doing this type of stuff.”
The potential patterns of Dionne Louis become particularly relevant to the Watson cases, since her involvement potentially can help plaintiff’s establish that Watson had a habit of arranging massages with the goal of having those massages become sexual encounters.