The lead attorney for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson claims that the accusations against his client are a “money grab” and that all 22 of his accusers are lying.
Watson attorney Rusty Hardin released a single filing but noted that all the filings would be the same.
The 25-year-old quarterback and his team called the accusations a “money grab.”
“It was not until the plaintiffs saw an opportunity for a money grab that they changed their stories to convert therapy sessions they bragged about to friends and family to something much more nefarious,” said Watson’s filing. “Innocent questions about whether the therapists were comfortable with the therapy Mr. Watson sought evolved into sexual inuendo [sic] that the plaintiffs used to bolster their claims for money.”
#Texans QB Deshaun Watson’s legal team has filed its response to allegations of sexual misconduct and Watson again denied them and requested a jury trial. Here are some highlights of the detailed responses to the claims: pic.twitter.com/PZ4o6KKbZN
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 19, 2021
In the filing, Watson reportedly asked one of the plaintiffs, massage therapist Ashley Solis, if she would be comfortable working on parts of his body that the team wanted him to work out.
“That same question, however, posed to a therapist not seeking to exploit Mr. Watson, was perceived as it was intended: a legitimate therapeutic inquiry,” the filing adds. “Ms. Solis’s skewed perception of Mr. Watson’s legitimate and innocent query became a prototype for the assembly line of similar allegations in subsequent lawsuits.”
In a Monday statement, Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, confirmed that they are directly saying that all 22 women are not telling the truth.
“Mr. Watson has been adamant that he did not engage in any improper conduct and we strongly believe him. Therefore, the answer to the question of whether we are saying that all 22 plaintiffs are lying about the allegations of sexual misconduct by Mr. Watson is a resounding yes,” Hardin said in his statement, according to Pro Football Talk.
“We and Mr. Watson take allegations of sexual misconduct against women very seriously, as we all should,” Hardin continued. “We have waited to respond to the numerous allegations made by Mr. Buzbee and his clients until we could responsibly investigate. In the few days since his accusers’ names have been revealed, as was required by Texas law, we are discovering an avalanche of false accusations.”
Hardin added that only two of the 22 allegations allege any forced sexual activity. Sheneé Lawson, for instance, admitted that the sexual contact was consensual, “but she still wanted money.” In Marchelle Davis’s case, Hardin questioned the woman’s claims of mental distress because, after contact with Watson, she told people how excited she was to have been with him. Hardin added that Davis “told witnesses that if Mr. Watson had paid her off, she would have supported him instead of suing him.”
“I hope everyone will take a fair and measured look at these accusations as we go forward in these cases,” Hardin concluded. “We certainly welcome anyone with relevant information to contact us. We do not expect to make any other comment today. The next hearing in this case is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.”
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