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What to Know About the Lawsuits Against Deshaun Watson

Buzbee denied that argument.

“Mr. Watson may now claim he had consent to do what he did to these victims, but let’s be clear — in their minds he didn’t have consent, PERIOD,” his statement said.

A woman who did not sue Watson told The Times that he initiated sex with her during all three of their massage appointments.

Most of the incidents are said to have taken place in Texas, but according to the complaints, two are said to have occurred in Georgia, where Watson is from, and in California and Arizona, during his visits there. All of the lawsuits were filed in Harris County, Texas, because that is where Watson lives and works.

The league opened an investigation into Watson’s conduct in March 2021. In a letter addressed to Buzbee, Lisa Friel, a special counsel for investigations at the league, requested the cooperation of the accusers. A league spokesman said the matter was under review in relation to the N.F.L.’s personal conduct policy. That policy governs off-field behavior involving players and coaches.

The Texans’ chief executive, Cal McNair, wrote to season ticket-holders that April that the organization took the allegations “very seriously” and would cooperate fully with the Houston Police and N.F.L. investigations.

“While we await the conclusion of these investigations, we express our strong stance against any form of sexual assault,” McNair said.

Hardin has said that Watson is cooperating with all investigations.

Nike suspended its contract with Watson in April of last year, the day after two of the accusers gave public statements describing their allegations.

“We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and have suspended Deshaun Watson. We will continue to closely monitor the situation,” the company said in a statement.

Many of his other sponsorships, which included ones with Rolex and Texas businesses, were allowed to expire.

Tony Buzbee is a Houston plaintiffs lawyer who has worked on personal injury cases for years but is perhaps best known for his involvement in mass tort and class-action cases, including the litigation after Hurricane Ike and the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico a decade ago. He doesn’t appear to have represented many women in cases involving sexual assault.

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