Browns QB Deshaun Watson faces new sexual misconduct lawsuit
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is facing a new civil lawsuit from a woman in Texas claiming he pressured her into a sex act during a massage therapy session two years ago.
The woman, referred to in court documents as Jane Doe, filed the lawsuit Thursday in Harris County District Court in Houston. She claims Watson asked to have sex with her after getting a massage in a hotel room in 2020. When she refused, he « was able to force her to have oral sex. »
According to the lawsuit, Watson paid her US$300, although her normal rate is $115 for an hourly massage. The woman claims Watson continued to text her after the encounter.
She seeks « minimal compensatory damages » but « suffered mental anguish from Watson’s behavior », according to the lawsuit.
Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, said he was trying to find the accuser’s name.
“It is against Texas civil procedure to bring an anonymous civil action, although it is certainly permitted in a criminal case,” Hardin said in an email to AP. « But in a civil case where you’re looking for money, the defendant has a right to know who you are. »
The NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Watson has settled civil lawsuits with 23 of the 24 women claiming he acted improperly by getting a massage while playing for the Texans.
The Browns had no immediate comment on the retrial.
Watson is expected to return against the old team on December 4
Watson, 27, settled in August with the league, agreeing to his suspension, a $5 million fine and to undergo independent therapy and counseling. He is not eligible to start training until November 14.
If he meets the terms of the settlement, Watson can be reinstated Nov. 28 and play Dec. 4, when the Browns visit Houston.
Two separate grand juries in Texas declined to indict Watson on criminal charges following complaints from more than two dozen women of lewd behavior. Watson has always maintained his innocence, saying he has never harassed or assaulted anyone.
Before playing in an exhibition game this summer, Watson apologized for the first time to any women who may have been affected by his behavior.
The Browns traded three first-round picks in March to Houston for Watson before signing him to a fully guaranteed, five-year, $240 million deal.