22nd woman files civil lawsuit against Texans QB Deshaun Watson, alleging sexual misconduct


A 22nd woman has filed a lawsuit against Deshaun Watson, accusing the Houston Texans quarterback of sexual misconduct during a massage session last year.

Quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans warms up prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at NRG Stadium on December 27, 2020 in Houston, Texas.

The unnamed woman, who is described in the complaint as a licensed esthetician, alleges Watson contacted her on Instagram to schedule a massage, then exposed himself and touched her with his genitals on Nov. 9, 2020. Watson also made a sexually suggestive comment to the woman, according to the lawsuit, but she told him it was not professional and ended the session.

The latest lawsuit, made publicly available Monday morning, was filed in Harris County District Court on Friday, less than an hour after the Houston Police Department announced it was investigating a complaint involving the 25-year-old quarterback.

Former Houston mayoral candidate Tony Buzbee, who is representing the 22 unnamed women, said in a statement Friday that “other criminal complaints will follow, as previously indicated, in Houston and in other jurisdictions and with other agencies.” Buzbee is holding a news conference Tuesday to discuss the matter.

The NFL is also independently investigating Watson under its personal conduct policy.

Watson has broadly denied wrongdoing. In his only public comment on the allegations, Watson wrote on social media on March 16 that he has always treated women with “utmost respect” and looked forward to clearing his name.

Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, has described the claims against his client as “meritless” and last week sought to counter them by releasing on-the-record statements from 18 therapists, who said they had positive interactions with Watson.

A collegiate star at Clemson and a three-time Pro Bowler in the NFL, Watson is now facing allegations of sexual misconduct or assault from a total of 23 women – 22 who have filed lawsuits against him, seeking compensatory damages, and another who detailed similar allegations in a Sports Illustrated article.

The alleged incidents occurred at a variety of locations – including spas, hotels, homes and office buildings – in four different states, according to the lawsuits. Most of the women, who filed the lawsuits using the pseudonym “Jane Doe,” are described as licensed massage therapists, estheticians or business owners.

The allegations come as Watson is seeking to move to another team. ESPN has reported that he formally requested a trade in January.

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