HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — WARNING: The below story features graphic and explicit content. Reader discretion is advised.
A 23rd different woman has come forward with a civil lawsuit accusing Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct.
In a copy of the lawsuit obtained by 3News sister station KHOU, the woman claims Watson harassed or assaulted her on multiple occasions at a Houston massage parlor in the summer of 2020, while Watson was still a member of the Houston Texans. The complaint was filed Tuesday afternoon in Harris County District Court.
The woman was not one of the original 22 massage therapists who sued Watson last year, but had previously spoke about his alleged actions towards her in media interviews. The filing says she changed her mind and decided to add her name to the list of plaintiffs after watching a report on HBO's "Real Sports" last week detailing two accuser's allegations against the QB.
According to the most recent lawsuit, Watson reached out to the plaintiff on Instagram asking for a massage, and the two eventually met for an appointment at the Houston spa on June 7, 2020. She claims she did not know who Watson was at the time but that her boss was "obsessed" with him and even opened the facility on a Sunday exclusively for him.
At that first appointment, Watson had asked the woman to focus on his "glutes," something she said seemed "odd" in hindsight. The session "became progressively weird," with Watson allegedly wanting her only to massage "his groin area and buttocks" and to "don't be afraid" to penetrate him, something she didn't do.
The massage therapist told her boss what had happened, but decided to "brush it off" and give Watson the "benefit of the doubt." The two then met again for another session on Aug. 24, which according to the accuser escalated when Watson kept touching her buttocks while "trying to make it look like an accident."
In what she described as "the most uncomfortable experience of her life," the plaintiff claims Watson asked if she wanted to give him oral sex, and that she felt "trapped" and "was deathly afraid of what he would do if she reprimanded him." The lawsuit then goes on to describe that Watson then allegedly ejaculated on himself and asked to engage, causing her to cut the session short and attempt to avoid Watson in the future.
Despite this, the plaintiff admits she met Watson for a third appointment in either August or September of 2020, saying she couldn't refuse him due to her boss and his status as a prominent football player. At the final session, Watson allegedly exposed himself, groped her, and asked her to have sex with her, and the plaintiff says she quit her job once the massage was over.
"Plaintiff agonized over whether to bring a lawsuit against Watson, understanding that there will be those who blame her for Watson's inappropriate and actionable conduct," the filing reads. "But after seeing Watson publicly refuse to take responsibility for his actions, saying he had 'no regrets,' and Watson's lawyer repeatedly calling the women liars, Plaintiff decided enough was enough."
Watson has consistently denied committing any inappropriate activity with any massage therapists or women in general. This past winter, multiple Texas grand jury declined to file criminal charges against the 26-year-old, and the Browns traded for the quarterback shortly thereafter and gave him the richest guaranteed contract in NFL history. Watson and his attorneys have publicly said they will fight the civil suits against him.
The allegations in today's lawsuit are similar to the ones made by Ashley Solis and Kyla Hayes in interviews with "Real Sports" last week. During that same segment, attorney Leah Graham from Watson's legal team told HBO's Soledad O'Brien that her client only engaged in sexual activity at three past massage appointments and that such activity was consensual.
"Mr. Watson has testified and is insistent that that sexual activity was initiated by the plaintiff in every single instance," Graham added.
But additionally, this lawsuit alleges one of Watson's other lawyers took the plaintiff out to dinner to "intimidate" her into not filing a complaint. The documents claim the attorney also said "us black women must stick together" and attempted to convince the alleged victim to say nice things about Watson in public, something she refused to do.
The plaintiff in this lawsuit is being represented by Tony Buzbee, who is also representing the previous 22 women accusing Watson. Rusty Hardin, Watson's lead attorney, released the following statement to KHOU:
"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."
3News has reached out to the Browns for comment on the matter.