Five women who accused Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct in separate lawsuits have spoken to Houston police, their attorney, Tony Buzbee, said Wednesday.
Buzbee made the revelation in an interview with The Washington Post. Houston police didn’t comment on the remark but have confirmed they were investigating at least one complaint.
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Buzbee opened up more about deliberations between him and Watson’s representatives before the lawsuits began to pile up against the Houston Texans quarterback.
The first accusation was made public on March 16. Watson was quick to deny the allegations in a social media statement but has not spoken out since then, instead hiring attorney Rusty Hardin, who has worked with high-profile clients in the past, including Roger Clemens.
Buzbee admitted to The Post that people know if he’s involved in a case “they probably want to resolve” it. However, he said his conversation with Athletes First general counsel Scott Gaffield made it known to him they didn’t take the allegations seriously. Athletes First represents the NFL star.
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“I said: ‘Let me tell you how this is going to go down: I’m going to file the case. The press is going to pick it up. It’s going to be a circus. … He’s going to have to hire Rusty Hardin.’ And here we are,” Buzbee told the newspaper. “This guy was so clueless about how things work.”
Buzbee said he offered to settle Ashley Solis’ initial accusations for $100,000. But Gaffield rejected. Solis was the first woman to publicly accuse Watson of sexual misconduct. Buzbee said Solis has since suffered social media harassment after making herself known earlier this month.
Gaffield didn’t comment on Buzbee’s remark and pointed the newspaper to an earlier statement, in which he said, “We did not think that the facts showed that Deshaun did anything wrong with their client. … We expect that this matter will be resolved in court.”
Hardin has denied his client did anything wrong. He said last week Watson’s sexual encounters with the women were “consensual.” Buzbee dismissed the notion, saying Hardin “told the world” his client “paid for sex.”
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Watson is facing 22 sexual misconduct lawsuits. At least two of them accuse Watson of sexual assault, including allegedly forcing a woman to perform oral sex on him.