23rd woman accuses Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct, reports say
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Another lawsuit has been filed against Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson after a 23rd woman accused him of sexual misconduct, according to reports from ESPN’s Sarah Barshop.
According to Barshop, the victim “changed her mind” about the lawsuit after seeing the interview on HBO’s Real Sports where two of the women alleging misconduct against the QB spoke out on their experiences, which aired May 24.
Rusty Hardin, whose firm is representing Watson in the 23 cases, issued a statement Tuesday evening following the news of the additional lawsuit:
Deshaun Watson vehemently denies the allegations, just as he has since she first discussed them with members of our firm in March of last year. She repeated the allegations on social media in August and he denied them then. The only thing new about her contentions is the embellishment making them more extreme than prior versions. Deshaun’s denial remains the same.
The two highly respected lawyers from our firm, Letitia Quinones and Rachel Lewis, also vehemently deny there was any coercion or intimidation involved in the very cordial meeting at Vic and Anthony’s (Mr. Buzbee and the plaintiff are not even right about where the meeting was, much less what was said). They met her to see if she was one of Mr. Buzbee’s then still anonymous plaintiffs. At that time Mr. Buzbee refused to identify his clients. The suggestion that either of these two accomplished lawyers would have said “us black women must stick together” is absurd. The interview was so congenial, she joined the lawyers for dinner afterwards.
We are aware that more than a year ago she had other lawyers representing her and they ultimately terminated the representation. This plaintiff has long had a vendetta against Deshaun since she jealously and angrily published Deshaun’s personal data on social media in November 2020. In filing her lawsuit now she was obviously not influenced by recent developments. We are not surprised Mr. Buzbee was willing to say just about anything to get more publicity. He knows the NFL continues to investigate these cases, and this is a transparent attempt to further punish the man he sees as a potential payday.
Watson, acquired by the Browns in March in a trade with the Houston Texans, openly denied the allegations in his introductory press conference with the team in Berea.
Two Texas grand juries chose not to indict the QB on the alleged misconduct.
Watson also met with NFL officials in Houston on May 16 amid the ongoing investigations into the QB’s conduct.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said during a press conference on May 24 that the league was “nearing the end” of its investigation into Watson’s conduct, originally reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Watson was in Berea last week for OTA’s, but was not made available to the media.
This story is ongoing and will be updated as more details are released.
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