Twenty-two women have accused Watson of assaulting the public, sexually abusing them. or the deliberate inclusion of emotional trauma in recent weeks, which Watson has denied.
Ashley Solis, the first woman to sue Watson, in tears told reporters on Tuesday that her body work was “permanently contaminated” by allegations of Watson’s behavior.
“Deshaun Watson abused me and abused me on March 30, 2020, in my home, doing what I love most: Massage therapy,” Solis said. “… I repeat this incident over and over in my head, as if I’m trying to wake up from a terrible nightmare. That’s the only bad thing that really happened.”
In court, Solis alleges that Watson deliberately exposed himself during the massage and repeatedly tried to direct her to his penis, before deliberately touching her hand. When he started crying asking her to leave, Watson reportedly replied, “I know you have a job and a reputation, and I know you can hate someone who will tarnish yours, just as I don’t want anyone to mess with me.”
Solis said he was striving to continue working in the industry after his meeting with Watson, and said he was suffering from panic, anxiety and depression.
“I can no longer do my favorite job without trembling during the session,” he said. “My hands shake whenever I place myself in a client and I have to reduce the time.”
The second plaintiff did not attend a press conference but was identified as Lauren Baxley. The lawyer read a letter Baxley wrote to Watson following the meeting, in which Baxley claimed that Watson appeared to him during the massage and touched his hand with his penis.
“Every barrier between technology and medicine to sex and humiliation, has crossed or attempted to cross,” Baxley wrote in the letter, later adding, “You have brought so much to me and others unrepentantly.”
One lawyer, Tony Buzbee, represents all 22 women, two of whom are suing Watson for sexual harassment. One woman claimed that Watson forced her to have oral sex with him during a massage in December 2020; another said he forced her to have oral sex, wrapped her legs around her neck, and told her to perform other sexual acts during a massage in August 2020.
Another 20 women, all working in the health and well-being industry, blamed what Buzbee described Tuesday as “similar” behavior during the 2020 and 2021 incidents: Watson exposes himself, brutally directing them to touch the wrong parts of his body, and in some cases, touching them with his organs. toilets. 19 of these women have sued Watson for public harassment; another accused him of deliberate emotional abuse.
Following a press conference on Tuesday, Buzbee released a screenshot that showed Watson communicating with the alleged victims via Instagram. In another alleged screenshot, Watson was seen telling a woman he could do a massage with sports pants and tight shorts. In one, he appeared to apologize after a massage, writing, “Sorry for feeling uncomfortable. There were no intentions. Lmk if you want to work next time. I’m sorry.” CBS News has not confirmed the authenticity of the screenshots.
Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, has dismissed “false allegations in this anonymous case,” in a statement sent to CBS News last week, saying his party would respond fully to the allegations “in the coming weeks.” Hardin had earlier called the first seven allegations “baseless,” and said that “any allegations that Deshaun forced a woman to perform a sexual act are entirely false.”
Buzbee said he was not involved in the decision of the two women to speak to police. Earlier he said he was concerned about working with the department because Hardin’s son is part of a “Special Command Staff.”
“I’m not saying in any way that Deshaun Watson’s lawyer, Mr. Hardin, has a son with a position that would jeopardize the HPD and its investigation. I support his ministry, and all the Houston police – I think the rank and file know that,” Buzbee said. “But, I say my clients and I will go somewhere to bring our evidence to the investigating authorities. Wait a minute.”
The NFL is investigating the allegations. The Texans said last month the team would remain “very close” with the league and would “continue to take the matter seriously and any matters affecting anyone within the Houston Texans organization.”