Last week, we reported that Deshaun Watson had settled 20 of the two dozen sexual assault lawsuits filed against him in which up to 66 masseuses accused him of being sexually inappropriate with them. Now, the NFL quarterback’s team has been named in a suit accusing it of enabling the superstar’s alleged behavior.
According to CNN, a civil lawsuit has been filed against the Houston Texans for allegedly enabling Watson’s “egregious behavior” by shielding him and the organization from accountability.
Attorney Tony Buzbee filed the lawsuit against the Texans on behalf of his client Toi Garner, a former massage therapist student, who alleges that during a massage session, Watson “assaulted and harassed Plaintiff by aggressively exposing his naked body to her, purposely touching her with his penis, and ultimately ejaculating onto her,” according to the lawsuit.
The Texans knew or should have known about Watson’s behavior and should have investigated and addressed the behavior, the lawsuit alleges, but instead provided him with a non-disclosure agreement “to protect himself.”
“We believe the Texans knew or most certainly should have known of Watson’s conduct. Beyond that, we believe the filing speaks for itself,” Buzbee told CNN, saying there would likely be additional lawsuits.
Of course, the team responded the way multi-million-dollar organizations tend to respond when having to grapple with a public scandal—by being as vague as possible about acknowledging the wrongdoing and admitting no direct responsibility for any of it.
“We are aware of the lawsuit filed against us today,” the Texans told CNN in a statement. “Since March 2021, we have fully supported and complied with law enforcement and the various investigations. We will continue to take the necessary steps to address the allegations against our organization.”
Meanwhile, Watson, who has maintained that he’s innocent of the sexually abusive actions he’s been accused of, is facing the possibility of being suspended from the NFL pending the investigation into whether he violated the league’s personal conduct policy.