Houston Texans Quarterback Deshaun Watson has been hit with three more lawsuits. Filed on Sunday evening, each lawsuit accuses the NFL star of attempting to delete direct messages sent through Instagram. Furthermore, the trio of lawsuits alleges that Watson has been contacting women in an attempt to reach a settlement. This latest development brings the number of sexual assault lawsuits levied against Watson to 19.
"Plaintiffs have not brought these cases for money or attention; instead Plaintiffs seek a change in behavior with regard to Watson, and a change of culture in the NFL," attorney Tony Buzbee stated.
Publicly, Watson has argued that he is innocent of the accusations levied against him. He has not issued a statement since the second lawsuit was filed. However, his attorney has stated that he has "strong evidence" that one of the allegations is false and that it would call "into question the legitimacy of the other cases as well."
"[Watson] has a great reputation here in the Houston area and the allegations are really inconsistent with the kind of person he is," attorney Rusty Hardin stated.
"In January of this year, a woman attempted to blackmail Deshaun by demanding $30,000 in exchange for her 'indefinite silence' about what she stated was a consensual encounter," Watson's marketing manager, Bryan Burney, said.
Beyond the back and forth between Hardin and Buzbee, the NFL and Houston Police Department have stepped in as well. Last week, the NFL did not hand down any punishment for Watson, but the league announced that it would launch an investigation regarding the matter.
“The NFL informed us today that they will conduct an investigation into the allegations made in the civil lawsuits filed against Deshaun Watson. We will stay in close contact with the league as they do," a spokesperson for the Houston Texans said.
During a press conference, Buzbee said that he had been contacted by the Houston Police Department. However, local authorities have not filed any criminal charges against the Texans quarterback.
"It would be inappropriate for the District Attorney's Office to comment on a civil lawsuit, and we refrain from publicly discussing allegations in any matter until and if a criminal charge is filed; we do this out of fairness to all," a spokesperson for the Harris County District Attorney's Office stated.
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