Browns QB Watson facing lawsuit from 23rd massage therapist | News, Sports, Jobs

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson throws a pass during NFL football practice at the team’s practice facility Wednesday, May 25, 2022 in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

CLEVELAND, AP — Another massage therapist has filed a civil lawsuit against Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, bringing the number of women who have accused him of sexual misconduct to 23.

Attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents all women, filed the latest lawsuit Tuesday in Texas and said in a text to the AP that there may be more lawsuits to come against Watson.

“I will soon be filing a 24th file”, he said.

Buzbee did not provide any details on the latest case.

The previous 22 lawsuits were filed in 2021, and two of those cases recently gained national attention when two of the women were interviewed for a segment on HBO. “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.”

Both women provided graphic details of their meetings with Watson, who was traded from Houston to Cleveland in March. The Browns sent five draft picks — including three first-rounders — to the Texans, then signed the three-time Pro Bowler to a fully-guaranteed, five-year, $230 million deal despite his legal entanglement and the cases still pending.

Watson has denied any wrongdoing and his attorney, Rusty Hardin, reiterated the 26-year-old’s innocence when commenting on Trial No 23.

“Deshaun Watson vehemently denies the allegations, just as he has since she first discussed them with members of our firm in March last year,” Hardin said in an email to AP. “She repeated the allegations on social media in August and he later denied them. The only new thing about its claims is the embellishment that makes them more extreme than previous releases. Deshaun’s denial remains the same.

Watson also faces possible suspension from the NFL, which is independently investigating his behavior to see if he violated the league’s drug abuse policy.

League investigators recently met with Watson in Houston. It is unclear whether the league has completed its investigation.

Watson, who has given depositions in the lawsuits over the past month, is expected to be back on the field Wednesday as the Browns continue their offseason team activities.

Watson has not spoken to the media since his introductory press conference on March 25. At that time, Watson said he had “I have never assaulted, disrespected or harassed a woman in my life.”

Clifton L. Boyd