Sports

A Breakdown into Allegations Against NFL star Deshaun Watson

The Houston QB received numerous lawsuits claiming that he participated in sexual assault and harassment

By: Christian DiBuono

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With his trade value and popularity taking a negative turn, Deshaun Watson and his attorney Rusty Hardin seek to prove his innocence. Credit: profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

TW: This article discusses repeatable acts of sexual assault and harassment.

NFL star Deshaun Watson is facing sexual assault charges that not only threaten his reputation but place his football career in jeopardy. Watson has been sued by 22 women who have alleged that he sexually assaulted them. 

The incidents accuse Watson of inappropriate behavior during massage appointments within the past year. One of the incidents describes Watson forcing the masseuse to have oral sex with him. 

Watson has denied all the allegations and none of the lawsuits had named any of the women who accused him. 

Here is a breakdown of the incidents described in the lawsuits:

March 30, 2020 

In a Texas home, the woman alleges that Watson exposed his genitals and made her touch them during a massage. Watson would interrupt the massage and say, “I know you a career and a reputation, and I know you would hate for someone to mess with yours, just like I don’t want anyone messing with mine.”

April 19, 2020

At a spa in Houston, Watson instructed the masseuse to work on his groin area, and then as the masseuse did that, Watson made her touch his genitals and ejaculated. 

May 28, 2020

In an incident that occurred at Watson’s home in Houston, Watson told the plaintiff, who is a personal trainer, to massage his groin, glutes, and lower abdominals while also exposing his genitals and saying, “I hope you don’t mind if we continue the massage like this.”

June 2, 2020

While contacting Watson on Instagram and by phone, the plaintiff was told by Watson that he made “a lot of massage therapists uncomfortable and it’s really hard for me to find someone who will meet my needs.” During the massage session, Watson attempted to remove his towel several times. 

June 2020 and August 17, 2020

In June and August 2020, Watson had two separate massage sessions with a woman who offers bodywork and stretch therapy classes. The first session occurred at a hotel where Watson was staying. 

In that session, Watson groped the plaintiff’s butt and vagina before making her touch his genitals. During the second session one month later, Watson exposed himself and forced the plaintiff’s mouth onto his genitals. 

July 2020 

At the plaintiff’s home in Houston, Watson asked the plaintiff to massage the area underneath his genitals as he laid naked on his stomach. During the massage, Watson turned over and ejaculated on the woman’s face and body as she massaged his groin. 

July 15, 2020

The woman in this incident is a licensed massage therapist who Watson met at a home in Beverly Hills, California. She claimed that she had to perform the massage in a room where Watson locked the door. 

Watson told her, “I will not make you sign an NDA [Nondisclosure agreement] but don’t ever talk about this” as he grabbed the masseuse’s hand and moved it onto his genitals. 

August 2, 2020

Like previous lawsuits, Watson contacted the plaintiff on Instagram and met her in a hotel in Houston. In this incident, Watson asked the plaintiff if he could be naked during the massage. He would get naked and ask if she could do more than her professional work for extra money. 

August 28, 2020

During the massage appointment, the plaintiff ended the massage after Watson attempted to get her to touch his genitals and expose himself. 

September 9, 2020, and October 2020

The plaintiff said that Watson asked her “what would she do about his erection” and tried to make her grab his genitals. Meanwhile, Watson also complained that she was wearing too much clothing and tried to kiss her during their appointments. 

September 24, 2020

Watson asked the masseuse if it would be okay to be “aroused” during the massage. The plaintiff also claimed that he ejaculated after Watson made her touch his genitals. 

October 19, 2020, and November 2020

The plaintiff agreed to work on Watson’s inner thighs in her first session. In the second session, Watson allegedly kisses her then exposes himself. He also offered to pay extra money for the plaintiff to work on his butt and genitals. 

October 8, 2020

The lawsuit states that Watson exposed himself during the massage while the plaintiff tried to massage his lower stomach and inner thighs as instructed. The plaintiff told Watson that she wasn’t paid to touch his genitals and claimed that she was told that she would’ve been required to sign an NDA before the massage, but she did not. 

December 28, 2020

Watson contacted the plaintiff, a licensed massage therapist, on Instagram then met her in an office building in Houston. During the meeting, he asked her to touch his genitals and forced her to have oral sex with him. As a result, the plaintiff backed out of the session because she was frightened. 

January 21, 2021

In another massage appointment, Watson was told not to remove his towel but did it anyway. He proceeded to expose his genitals and have the plaintiff touch them. 

March 5, 2021

During a massage appointment where the plaintiff refused to work on Watson’s groin area, Watson exposed himself and put her hand on his genitals. 

Watson asserted, through his lawyers, that eight of the plaintiffs have “bragged about, praised, and were excited about massaging” him, seven plaintiffs offered to work with Watson after the incidents, three plaintiffs lied about the number of sessions they had with Watson, five plaintiffs lied about being fearful after the alleged incidents, five plaintiffs claimed that they “want to get money out of Watson”, and five plaintiffs have deleted their social media accounts. 

Meanwhile, sports reporter Michael Holley and ESPN’s Molly Qerim urged NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to place Watson on the Commissioner’s Exempt list. Watson’s placement onto the exempt list would remove him as an active member of the Houston Texans, and he would not be allowed to play next season.

While Watson may be put on the list, it is also important to understand that sexual allegations have ruined NFL players’ reputations before. Darren Sharper, a former NFL player who could have made the Hall of Fame, was charged with sexual assault while working for NFL Network. Because of this charge, Sharper has been excluded from being nominated into the Hall of Fame.

Watson, on the other hand, is one of the best players in the league. Because of the many allegations against him, there’s no doubt that these allegations have damaged his reputation as a football player whether or not he is found guilty or not guilty.

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