Houston Texans' Deshaun Watson faces 20 lawsuits accusing him of misconduct
HOUSTON -- The number of lawsuits filed against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, accusing him of a range of actions during massage appointments over the past year, from refusing to cover his genitals to forced oral sex, continues to grow.
Watson has denied the allegations in the lawsuits, which do not name any of the women. He is also accused of deleting Instagram messages and contacting the women in an attempt to settle.
Below is a summary of the alleged behavior, according to the lawsuits.
The lawsuits contain explicit language that can be considered graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.
March 30, 2020, at the plaintiff's home in Texas. The plaintiff has run a massage therapy business since 2018 and is a licensed therapist. He contacted her via direct message on Instagram and insisted no one else be present during his massage. The woman alleges that Watson exposed his penis and touched her hand with his penis. She says she ended the massage abruptly and Watson told her: "I know you have 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." She says he texted later to apologize but she did not respond.
April 19, 2020 at a Houston spa. The plaintiff, a licensed esthetician who owns her skin care business, says she was contacted by Watson via Instagram. During a massage appointment, Watson directed the woman to work on the crevices in his groin area, the lawsuit states. She says when he rolled over onto his back, he had an erection and repeatedly touched her hand with his penis. He ejaculated, leaving the woman "confused and mortified," the lawsuit states.
May 28, 2020 at Watson's home in Houston. The plaintiff, a certified personal trainer who did not specialize in massage, says Watson wanted to book with her anyway and told her he wanted to focus on his groin, glutes and lower abdominals. She says the massage took place in a theater room, and that at one point Watson exposed his penis and moved it to her hand. The lawsuit says Watson told her, "I hope you do not mind if we continue the massage like this." The woman says she started stuttering and said "I do not know. I do not know," before ending the massage. The plaintiff says she called her mother and best friend that day to tell them what happened, and that Watson texted her the same day asking if she was OK.
June 2, 2020 at a spa in Houston. The plaintiff has been in the massage business about 11 years and is a licensed therapist who routinely works with pro athletes. She says Watson contacted her via Instagram and later by phone, telling her he makes "a lot of massage therapists uncomfortable and it's really hard for me to find someone who will meet my needs." During the appointment, the woman says, Watson continually tried to remove towels and exposed his penis multiple times and moved "in such a way to make his penis touch Plaintiff." The lawsuit says Watson tried to schedule future appointments but was ignored or declined.
June 2020 and Aug. 17, 2020 at a hotel and later a spa in Houston. The plaintiff, who offers bodywork and stretch therapy classes, markets her business through Instagram. She said she initially did not know who Watson was when he contacted her through the manager at a spa where she worked. She met him at a hotel where he was staying, the lawsuit says. She says Watson groped her buttocks and vagina, and she slapped him. She says he later touched her hand with his penis. On Aug. 17, she says, Watson reached out on Instagram, and she didn't realize the connection to her earlier client until he arrived. The lawsuit says Watson apologized for his earlier behavior but during the appointment exposed himself, forced the woman's mouth onto his penis and masturbated in front of her.
July 2020 at the plaintiff's house in Houston. The plaintiff offered Watson a teeth whitening and sauna detox when he originally reached out via Instagram for a massage. Later, by telephone, Watson asked about Swedish massage, and she said she would try to learn it before his appointment, according to the lawsuit. During the appointment, the woman says, Watson lay naked on his stomach and told her to massage the area underneath his genitals and anus before flipping onto his back. The lawsuit states that as the plaintiff massaged his groin, Watson ejaculated on her face and body. She says he then took her hand and had it touch his penis. The woman called a friend later that day to say what had happened because, she says, she was in shock.
July 15, 2020 at a home in Beverly Hills, Calif. The plaintiff, a licensed massage therapist, says Watson contacted her on Instagram. He later gave her an address to a house in Beverly Hills where she was to meet him, the lawsuit says. When she arrived, she says, she was led to a room where Watson locked the door. The plaintiff says she took out mace, and Watson laughed but didn't say anything. When the massage started, the lawsuit states, Watson asked her to massage his glutes and pointed to his anus, and the plaintiff refused. When Watson flipped over, he had an erection covered by a towel, which he removed, the plaintiff says. She says Watson grabbed her hands and moved them toward his genitals and forced her hands onto his penis. Afterward, she says, he told her, "I will not have you sign a NDA but don't ever talk about this.
Aug. 2, 2020 at a hotel in Houston. The plaintiff offers various wellness services in homes, hotels and offices. Watson allegedly contacted her by Instagram to set up an appointment. The woman says that, during the session, Watson repeatedly asked if he could be naked and demanded she focus on the buttocks. The lawsuit alleges that Watson told the plaintiff he wanted her to touch his anus with her fingers. After the session, according to the lawsuit, Watson was naked in the room when the plaintiff returned from washing her hands and he allegedly asked if she did more than just professional work "for more money." The woman says she immediately declined and told him to leave. Due to the incident, she left the profession, the lawsuit states.
Aug. 28, 2020 at the Houstonian Hotel. The plaintiff has owned a massage therapy business in Atlanta since 2019. She says Watson contacted her via Instagram and flew her to Houston for his appointment. The woman says Watson tried to get her to touch his genitals and exposed himself. She said she ended the massage and Watson grabbed her hand and arm and said, 'It is OK. It is OK.' She said she pulled away. When Watson went to shower, she says, she left for the airport and did not respond to later requests from Watson.
Several encounters between Sept. 9, 2020, and October 2020 at a spa in Houston. The plaintiff, a licensed esthetician of nine years, offers back treatments and body scrubs. In one session, the lawsuit says, Watson asked the woman "what she would do about his erection." She told him his behavior was inappropriate, the lawsuit says. In an October session, she says, Watson tried to put his penis in the plaintiff's hand so she would touch it and moved his body so his penis would touch her hand. She says he insisted she focus on his groin, complained she was wearing too many clothes and tried to kiss her. The woman says she cut the second session short and Watson left.
Sept. 24, 2020 at a rented room in a Houston salon. The plaintiff, who owns her own fitness company and offers body conditioning and wellness therapy, says Watson contacted her on Instagram. She said Watson asked if it was OK if he got naked and "if he got aroused." Later, she says, he moved his body to have his penis touch her hand. She said she moved away and Watson then ejaculated. The lawsuit says the woman "felt violated and disgusted" and immediately stopped the session.
Two sessions -- Oct. 19 and around Nov. 2, 2020 -- at the plaintiff's office in Houston. The woman owns a bodywork and stretch therapy company and had been open around six months. She said Watson contacted her on Instagram. In the first session, she says, Watson wanted her to work on his inner thighs. She said she doesn't "do that kind of work," but she did after he insisted, according to the lawsuit. During the second session, Watson kissed the plaintiff when he arrived, she says. She was shocked and left the office quickly to compose herself, and when she returned he exposed himself, the lawsuit says. Later, she says, Watson asked her to work on his buttocks and penis area but she declined. The lawsuit says he moved in a way to have his penis touch her hand and offered to pay extra if she worked on his buttocks and penis. She says when she declined, Watson got upset and left.
Oct. 8, 2020 at a spa in Houston. The plaintiff says she had never given a massage at this spa before, and her boss had assigned her to Watson, whom she said might require a non-disclosure agreement to be signed. She did not sign an NDA. When the massage began, the plaintiff says, she started massaging Watson's lower legs, as her boss instructed. Watson later turned over and exposed his penis, the lawsuit states, and the woman continued massaging his inner thigh, lower stomach and sides as he instructed. Because his penis was exposed, the woman says, she had to brush against it during the massage. The suit says Watson told her not to be afraid to touch him, and the plaintiff responded that she was not paid to do that. She says he told her that's what he paid for, and that he left, paying only a third of what he was supposed to pay her.
November 2020 at plaintiff's mother's house in Pearland. The plaintiff, a single mother, is a flight attendant and massage therapist. She says that Watson requested services when she was a massage therapy student, and often, shared her journey of massage therapy school with her followers on Instagram. The plaintiff says that she had never worked with any athletes from the Texans organization, but had previously known Watson through mutual friends, so she initially felt comfortable around him. According to the lawsuit, Watson initially asked her to come to a hotel at his private suite to do the massage, but she declined. After refusing, Watson allegedly kept messaging her to the point it felt like harassment before reaching out to a mutual friend. The friend reached out to the woman's best friend, who encouraged her to do the massage and said it would be OK. The plaintiff says that although she told Watson that she did not have a location where she could perform the massage, he was so persistent, he offered to drive to her in Pearland to her mother's house.
Session 1: This massage happened on Nov. 6, 2020, the suit alleges. According to court documents, Watson texted the plaintiff saying, "I even have a NDA I have therapist sign too." The plaintiff says that she left the room to allow Watson to get undressed, and that he left the NDA on the table for her to sign. When she returned Watson was lying naked on his stomach with only a towel covering his buttocks. Watson is accused of becoming aggressive and telling her "get up in there," "don't be scared," and "use your fingers." She refused to move further down, and Watson eventually flipped over onto his back. The plaintiff says he kept telling her to touch his penis, and she refused. After the massage, the woman says Watson texted her, "Hope that wasn't bad." The next day, Watson allegedly texted her asking for another session. She says she agreed because she thought that from a massage standpoint, she didn't do a good job and had wanted to give it another try.
Session 2: This occurred on Nov. 10, 2020 around 11 a.m. at the plaintiff's mother's house in the living room. In this instance, Watson allegedly told the woman that he had just come from practice and received a massage but wanted another one, explaining that, as an athlete, it's normal for him to get several massages a day. The plaintiff claims the second session started the same way as Session 1. She says Watson told her, "I am just trying to help you and show you how it's done." Again, the woman says that Watson's penis touched her hand several times and that he ejaculated. Watson got dressed and asked her about getting another massage that same day. She alleges that Watson texted her, saying, "Maybe 4:30 p.m.? At Houstonian. I see you're getting comfortable with certain techniques and areas." The plaintiff says that when she declined to do the next massage, Watson texted her incessantly and called her almost three times a day.
The plaintiff says she reached out to one of her friends who played for the NFL and told him the story. He allegedly told her that there is a thin line between physical therapy and sexual pleasure, and that Watson crossed the line.
Dec. 28, 2020 at a Houston office building. The woman, a licensed massage therapist since 2018, says Watson contacted her through Instagram. During the session, she says, Watson instructed her to slide her hands across his genitals. The woman says she started shaking and felt intimidated and threatened. The lawsuit says that he forced the woman to have oral sex and that she blacked out for a few minutes from fear. She says Watson then got dressed and left.
Jan. 21, 2021 in Houston. The plaintiff, a licensed massage therapist who owns her own business in Houston, says Watson contacted her on Instagram. As the massage started, she says, Watson asked if he could remove draping because he gets hot. The woman says she told Watson that he would have to remain partially covered and that the massage was strictly professional. The lawsuit says he exposed his erect penis and caused it to touch her hand.
March 5, 2021 at a massage therapy business in Sandy Springs, Georgia. The plaintiff is a licensed massage therapist who owns her own business. She says Watson contacted her on Instagram about a $55 discount massage she was offering. During the massage, she says, Watson made her uncomfortable and directed her to his groin area. She refused, and Watson exposed himself and put his penis on her hand, the lawsuit says. She says she was shocked and moved away, and Watson dressed and left.
Filed on March 29, 2021 The lawsuit says the plaintiff was referred to Watson by a mutual friend sometime in 2020. She is married and was married at the time of the alleged incidents, which happened over three sessions. The plaintiff, a licensed massage therapist for several years, marketed her business through Instagram and said she'd never had issues prior to her encounters with Watson. She claims they discussed scheduling over text messages. The first massage occurred at Watson's house. The woman says she insisted on draping, but Watson said he didn't want that, getting completely naked and urging that he didn't want her to massage his back. Instead, when he flipped over, his penis was exposed. The plaintiff said that Watson's penis touched her hand several times. Though she felt uncomfortable, she says she shrugged the incident off as nerves, wanted to keep Watson as a client to grow her business and agreed to schedule a second massage with Watson after he asked to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Session 2: The plaintiff says Watson again refused to drape or cover himself and proceeded to get nude. Watson only wanted to use a bath towel, but also complained about that, court documents say. The lawsuit states that the massage therapist was asked to massage his lower abdomen, his groin area, his penis and his testicles. The plaintiff refused, adding that she felt uncomfortable but didn't want to upset Watson or risk losing him as a client. She says his penis continued to touch her hand throughout the massage.
Session 3: Prior to the third session, Watson allegedly told the woman to "come wearing something comfortable." During the session, Watson again was naked, refused to cover himself and only wanted to wear a small washcloth, the lawsuit says. Watson is accused of "continuously and purposely" touching the woman with his penis by moving his body. By the end of the session, the plaintiff concluded that Watson wanted sex. After, she says she told Watson she was firing him as a client and did not want to jeopardize her marriage.
ESPN contributed to this report.
The video above is from a previous report detailing one of claims against Watson.