One Deshaun Watson accuser drops civil suit
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The sexual misconduct and harassment case involving Deshaun Watson is only getting uglier.
Twenty-two women have accused the Texans’ star quarterback of improper behavior, and now he has formally shot back through his attorney Rusty Hardin, calling the accusations a “money grab” in his overall response to the civil cases filed.
The sides have mostly levied shots through the media at one another in the form of press conferences and scathing statements, but now it appears this case is moving forward.
In a document called “Deshaun Watson’s Original Answer,” his side argues why there is no merit to the case now that it has the names of his accusers. It claims that eight of the plaintiffs “bragged about, praised and were excited about massaging” Watson; seven of them either offered to work with Watson or were happy to do so after the alleged incidents; three of the accusers lied about the numbers of sessions the two parties had; five plaintiffs said they were trying to get money out of Watson, according to people they had spoken with; five plaintiffs “lied about their alleged trauma and resulting harm and five others erased their social media accounts.
“It was not until the plaintiffs saw an opportunity for a money grab that they changed their stories to convert therapy sessions they bragged about to friends and family to something much more nefarious,” the document reads.
In another part, regarding Watson’s accusers keeping appointments with him after the date of the alleged harassment, it says: “This, of course, raises the question of why they would agree to follow-up therapy sessions when they claim their experiences made them feel like they ‘wanted to vomit’ and caused them to ‘no longer accept massage clients, for fear of a repeat of this type of harassment.’”
In a follow-up statement, Hardin said the delay in the response was waiting to get the names of the women involved and investigate their claims. That led to an “avalanche of false accusations,” Hardin said. He also addressed the two women — Shenee Lawson and Marchelle Davis — who have accused Watson of forced sexual activity. Lawson’s business manager said the sexual contact was consensual but still wanted money, Hardin claims. Hardin said according to witnesses, Davis was “happy and excited” following the massage with Watson and lied about the two being alone, when there was a security guard present at all times.
“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,” he said.
A three-time Pro Bowl selection who led Clemson to a national championship in college, the 25-year-old Watson has maintained his innocence from the start. The NFL is investigating the matter under its personal conduct policy. League spokesperson Brian McCarthy previously said the allegations are “deeply disturbing.”
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