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#pounditFriday, May 7, 2021

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.

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