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#pounditSunday, May 16, 2021

Deshaun Watson

Texans GM Nick Caserio offers update on Deshaun Watson situation

Deshaun Watson

It was not all that long ago that the Houston Texans were insisting Deshaun Watson would be the face of their franchise for years to come, but suddenly they do not sound so certain.

Texans general manager Nick Caserio met with reporters on Friday, and naturally he was asked several questions about Watson. Since Watson is facing sexual assault allegations from at least 22 different women, Caserio said he cannot comment on the situation. He said he has nothing to add beyond the statement the Texans already put out.

“I would say, I really don’t have any comment,” Caserio said, via NFL.com. “I know Cal [McNair] and ownership put a letter out a few weeks ago relative to the organizational stance, relative to where we are. I don’t have anything to add other than its legal process and we respect the legal process and where that is. We’re focused on today, we’re focused on getting ready for the offseason program and getting ready for the draft, so that’s where our focus is.”

One new lawsuit was filed against Watson this week, which brought the total to 23. One woman then dropped her suit this week citing privacy and security concerns, so there are now 22 civil suits outstanding against the star quarterback. Houston police also confirmed earlier this month that one of the alleged victims has filed a complaint.

Caserio said he has heard a lot of speculation but isn’t going to add to it.

“We’re not going to get into a lot of hypotheticals, a lot of speculation,” the GM said. “I’m not really good at that. Maybe someone else is better at that than me. If you want to speculate, probably go buy Bitcoin and focus on that.”

Regardless of what happens with Watson from a legal standpoint, it would be a shock if he is not suspended by the NFL. He has maintained his innocence and admits to having sexual encounters with some of the massage therapists who are suing him, but the NFL will conduct its own investigation.

One of the alleged victims, Ashley Solis, delivered a powerful statement last week in which she spoke about how Watson’s alleged misconduct has negatively impacted her career and life. You can see that video here.

Woman drops sexual assault lawsuit against Deshaun Watson over privacy concerns

Deshaun Watson

A judge ruled last week that most of the women who have filed sexual assault lawsuits against Deshaun Watson must reveal their identities in their suits, and at least one of the alleged victims will not be moving forward because of that decision.

According to court documents obtained by TMZ, one of the women who had previously sued Watson under the pseudonym Jane Doe has dropped her suit. She cited “privacy and security concerns” and indicated she may refile the lawsuit at a later date.

There was a report earlier in the week that a woman had dropped her lawsuit against Watson, and it sounds like this could be the same person. TMZ notes that the total amount of lawsuits is now back down to 22 after another massage therapist, Erica Chapman, filed one this week.

The Houston Texans have begun to distance themselves from Watson, who has been their quarterback since 2017. Watson demanded a trade from the team prior to becoming the subject of numerous lawsuits. He could be facing a suspension from the NFL regardless of the outcome of the cases.

Deshaun Watson gets one accuser to drop lawsuit

Deshaun Watson

One of the women who was accusing Deshaun Watson of sexual assault has dropped her lawsuit.

Watson’s attorney Rustin Hardin provided an update on the case to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero. He says they have the names of 20 of the 22 women. One woman has dropped her suit, and they are seeking the name of one other accuser.

Watson’s legal team got a legal victory when it was ruled that the women had to be identified. That apparently has led him to begin discussions with the accusers.

Legal cases can often be settled outside of court, typically through an amount of money and other terms agreed upon between the parties. It’s unclear what led the one woman to drop her suit.

The Houston Texans have begun to distance themselves from Watson, who has been their quarterback since 2017. Watson demanded a trade from the team prior to becoming the subject of numerous lawsuits. He could be facing a suspension from the NFL regardless of the outcome of the cases.

Texans appear to begin distancing themselves from Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson

The Houston Texans have said numerous times this offseason that they are not trading Deshaun Watson and expect him to be a franchise cornerstone for years to come. Of course, all of those public endorsements came before 22 women accused Watson of sexual assault. Now, the team appears to be distancing itself from the quarterback.

Rivers McCown noticed on Sunday that the Texans have removed Watson entirely from the introduction to their in-house TV show, “Texans 360.”

We highly doubt that is a coincidence.

Watson has maintained his innocence, though his legal team did admit last week that the 25-year-old had consensual sexual relationships with some of his masseuses.

The identities of at least a dozen women who have accused Watson of sexual assault will soon be revealed. Nine of the alleged victims have volunteered to publicly reveal their identities, and several others will have to due to a court ruling on Friday.

One of the alleged victims, Ashley Solis, delivered a powerful statement this week in which she spoke about how Watson’s alleged misconduct has negatively impacted her career and life. You can see that video here.

Watson had demanded a trade before any of the sexual assault allegations came to light. It seems highly likely that he will be suspended for at least some of the 2021 season, which complicates the situation.

Reporter Aaron Wilson issues statement after being fired over Deshaun Watson interview

Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson issued a statement on Twitter Saturday after news emerged that he had been fired over statements he made during a radio interview.

Wilson, who covered the Texans for the Houston Chronicle, lost his job on Friday. He said in his statement that he “made a mistake” and did not choose his words carefully enough when talking about the Deshaun Watson allegations. He also regretted not being clearer about whether he was sharing his personal opinion in the interview, or representing the feelings of Watson’s camp.

Wilson joined WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” for an interview last month. In the interview, Wilson was asked about the sexual assault accusations Watson faced.

Wilson defended Watson’s character during the interview and expressed skepticism over the allegations. Wilson’s stance was so clear that the hosts even asked whether Wilson was “pro-Watson.”

In addition to showing a bias towards Watson, Wilson was not 100 percent clear about whether his remarks represented his own opinion, or whether his remarks represented the mentality of Watson’s camp. He said at one point that the attorney representing the women was “ambulance chasing.” He also said that “you don’t negotiate with terrorists” was the mindset of why Watson’s camp wasn’t negotiating with attorney Tony Buzbee.

Houston Chronicle reporters are supposed to receive clearance before doing interviews such as this one, and it sounds like Wilson did not. Had he sought clearance first, he might have been reminded to be careful with what he said. Wilson was not at all careful with his words or opinions.

Journalists are supposed to be impartial in their coverage of news stories. Maintaining impartiality is especially important for a sensitive subject such as this one. Wilson failed to be impartial during his interview.

Deshaun Watson admits to having consensual sexual encounters with some accusers

Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson has maintained his innocence despite 22 different women accusing him of sexual assault, but the Houston Texans star has now admitted that his relationship with some of the massage therapists was not exactly professional.

Watson’s legal team held a press conference on Friday afternoon in which they enthusiastically defended the quarterback’s character. Rusty Hardin, Watson’s lead defense attorney, said there were times when Watson had “consensual encounters” with some of the alleged victims.

“We deeply, deeply do not believe this guy ever did anything nonconsensual with any woman during any of this,” Hardin said. “He didn’t coerce them. We don’t believe he used his position. We don’t believe he intimidated them. We simply do not. Were there sometimes consensual encounters? Yes.”

Some have questioned why Watson needed so many different massage therapists, and Hardin also addressed that. He attributed it to spas being shut down during the pandemic and Watson searching for therapists via direct messages because “millennials live on Instagram.”

The identities of at least a dozen women who have accused Watson of sexual assault will soon be revealed. Nine of the alleged victims have volunteered to publicly reveal their identities, and several others will have to due to a court ruling on Friday.

One of the alleged victims, Ashley Solis, delivered a powerful statement this week in which she spoke about how Watson’s alleged misconduct has negatively impacted her career and life. You can see that video here.

Watson’s defense is that he had consensual sexual encounters with some massage therapists and that all of the 22 women are lying in some form. Hardin previously claimed that Watson was the victim of a blackmail attempt in at least one of the case.

Several more of Deshaun Watson’s alleged victims will reveal their identities

Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson’s attorney has filed a motion seeking to force several of the women who have accused the quarterback of sexual assault to reveal their identities, but no court ruling will be necessary for several of them.

Tony Buzbee, the lawyer who represents the 22 women who have filed sexual assault lawsuits against Watson, said Friday that nine more of the alleged victims have chosen to voluntarily reveal their identities.

One of the nine women is Ashley Solis, who delivered a powerful statement this week in which she spoke about how Watson’s alleged misconduct has negatively impacted her career and life. You can see the video here.

A hearing was held on Friday regarding 12 of the women who have filed lawsuits against Watson. A judge ruled that all 12 must refile their lawsuits and attach their names to them, according to Aaron Reiss of The Athletic. That means the three women who did not volunteer to publicly reveal their identities must now do so as well.

Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, maintained that the quarterback is innocent in a statement issued on Thursday. He accused Tony Buzbee of using “anonymous allegations to destroy Mr. Watson.” Hardin has been saying for weeks that Buzbee should have to provide the names of the accusers so Watson can defend himself properly.

All of the lawsuits against Watson to this point have been civil in nature, but Houston police said last week that one criminal complaint has been filed.

Watson’s agent has publicly accused at least some of the alleged victims of lying for financial gain. The 25-year-old’s legal team also claims he was a victim of a blackmail attempt in at least one of the cases.

Deshaun Watson’s legal team wins important ruling in sexual assault scandal

Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson’s attorney filed a motion earlier this week seeking to force the quarterback’s alleged sexual assault victims to reveal their identities. A judge ruled in Watson’s favor in one of the cases on Friday morning.

Harris County Judge Dedra Davis ruled at an emergency hearing that one of the 22 plaintiffs who is suing Watson for sexual assault must identify herself by refiling her lawsuit with her name attached, according to ESPN’s Sarah Barshop. The alleged victim had previously been referred to as Jane Doe in her lawsuit.

A similar hearing regarding at least 12 of the other plaintiffs will be held later on Friday.

Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, maintained that the quarterback is innocent in a statement issued on Thursday. Hardin also accused Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing the alleged victims, of using “anonymous allegations to destroy Mr. Watson.” Hardin has been saying for weeks that Buzbee should have to provide the names of the accusers so Watson can defend himself properly.

Watson has been sued by 22 women who say he sexually harassed and assaulted them while they were giving him massages. Two of the alleged victims publicly revealed their identities on Tuesday. One of the women, massage therapist Ashley Solis, delivered a powerful statement in which she spoke about how Watson’s alleged misconduct has negatively impacted her career and life. You can see the video here.

Deshaun Watson’s attorney trying to get alleged victims to reveal identities

Deshaun Watson

Two of the women who have filed sexual assault lawsuits against Deshaun Watson revealed their identities this week, and Watson’s attorney is hoping more will follow.

Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, has been urging Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing Watson’s alleged victims, to provide their identities to Watson’s legal team. On Thursday, Hardin filed a motion seeking to force Buzbee to make that happen.

In a statement that was sent to Larry Brown Sports and other media outlets, Hardin maintained that Watson is innocent. He said Buzbee is using “anonymous allegations to destroy Mr. Watson.”

“We have said this before and we want to say it again: Deshaun did not force, coerce or intimidate anyone to do anything against their will,” the statement read. “When we asked Mr. Buzbee to identify his clients weeks ago, he refused and told us to file a motion. (On Thursday), we filed that motion. As discussed in our filing, Mr. Buzbee’s use of anonymous lawsuits violates Texas law and the basic concept of fairness. It is clear that, for Mr. Buzbee, this case has never been about seeking justice in a courtroom, but destroying Deshaun’s reputation to enhance his own public profile and enrich himself. While I understand that anonymity often is used as a shield for victims, Mr. Buzbee is using it as a sword. While shielding his clients from public scrutiny, Mr. Buzbee continues to use their anonymous allegations to destroy Mr. Watson. This is simply not right. And we look forward to resolving these matters in court.”

You can read the full court filing here.

Watson has now been sued by 22 women who say he sexually harassed and assaulted them while they were giving him massages. Two of the alleged victims publicly revealed their identities on Tuesday. One of the women, massage therapist Ashley Solis, delivered a powerful statement in which she spoke about how Watson’s alleged misconduct has negatively impacted her career and life. You can see the video here.

Ravens CB Davontae Harris thinks all 22 Deshaun Watson accusers are lying

Deshaun Watson

Davontae Harris on Wednesday expressed his doubts about the allegations Deshaun Watson is facing.

The Baltimore Ravens cornerback tweeted that the allegations Watson is facing are getting “questionable.” He also shared his belief that the women aren’t telling the truth. Harris said these 22 women are making it harder for — in his words — actual victims — to come forward.

22 women have filed lawsuits against Watson, alleging he sexually assaulted them. The cases follow a similar pattern of Watson reaching out to women to arrange massages and then allegedly acting inappropriately while with them.

Watson’s defense team shared statements from 18 women who backed the Houston Texans quarterback. The numbers indicate that Watson sought and/or received massages from at least 40 women over the last year or so.

Houston police are investigating at least one criminal complaint against Watson. All the other lawsuits are civil cases, where the burden of proof is lower. A woman came out publicly this week and attached her name to her accusation against Watson.