Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has been accused of indecent conduct involving a licensed massage therapist in March 2020, according to a civil complaint filed Tuesday night in Harris County, Texas.
The complaint alleges that Watson contacted the plaintiff on Instagram inquiring about a massage and the two eventually scheduled an appointment at the plaintiff’s home. Per the complaint, Watson informed the plaintiff prior to meeting that he wanted a “massage for relaxation” as opposed to a sports massage.
The complaint alleges that during the massage Watson said that he wanted the focus to be on “his groin area.” Watson later allegedly exposed himself from under his massage towel, and then touched the plaintiff’s hand with his genitals after moving his body to further expose himself. The plaintiff then ended the massage and asked Watson to leave.
After news of the lawsuit broke Tuesday night, Watson released the following statement on social media:
“As a result of a social media post by a publicity-seeking plaintiff’s lawyer, I recently became aware of a lawsuit that has apparently been filed against me. I have not yet seen the complaint, but I know this: I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect. The plaintiff’s lawyer claims that this isn’t about money, but before filing suit he made a baseless six-figure settlement demand, which I quickly rejected. Unlike him, this isn’t about money for me — it’s about clearing my name, and I look forward to doing that.”
The Texans said in a statement Wednesday that they became aware of the civil lawsuit on social media Tuesday night.
“This is the first time we have heard of the matter, and we hope to learn more soon,” the team said, per NFL Network’s James Palmer. “We take accusations of this nature that involve anyone within the Houston Texans organization seriously. We will await further information before making any additional statements on this incident.”
Watson’s future has been one of the biggest storylines in the NFL this offseason after he requested a trade from the Texans, who drafted him in the first round in 2017. Texans coach David Culley recently stated Houston is “committed” to Watson as its quarterback as the team has consistently indicated they have no interest in trading the three-time Pro Bowl signal-caller.
Watson threw for an NFL-best 4,832 yards in 2020 with 33 touchdowns to just seven interceptions.
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