NFL quarterback Deshaun Watson had previously said he used 40 massage therapists during his five years with the Houston Texans.
That number already seemed excessive but a new report from The New York Times reveals the QB, now with the Cleveland Browns, saw at least 66 female massage therapists over a 17-month period between Fall 2019 and Spring 2021.
Of those 66, 24 of the women have sued Watson for alleged sexual misconduct, claiming he harassed or assaulted them.
Two other therapists made criminal accusations but did not sue, while one woman sued him but then withdrew her lawsuit.
However, 15 massage therapists also defended Watson with statements of support – four of whom worked for a massage clinic hired by the Texans.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs ID’ed five additional women during their investigation, while The Times confirmed 15 more through interviews and records reviews.
A member of the Texans organization provided Watson with an NDA form to give massage therapists and the team “provided the venue Watson used for some of the appointments.”
The team said in a statement it first learned of sexual misconduct allegations against the quarterback in March 2021, adding that they have cooperated with investigators and “will continue to do so.”
Watson has maintained that any sexual activity with any of the massage therapists was consensual. He did, however, acknowledge that one of his accusers, Ashley Solis, had tears in her eyes at the end of his session, in which he allegedly “put his penis” in her hand, then he texted her right after, writing, “sorry about you feeling uncomfortable.”
Watson reportedly testified under oath that he doesn’t understand why he was called to answer questions.
“Like I told you at the beginning of this depo, I’m still trying to figure out why we in the situation we are in right now, why I’m talking to you guys, why you guys are interviewing me,” Watson reportedly said, according to The Times. “I don’t know. Do not know.”
Watson has not been criminally charged but the 26-year-old, who signed a fully guaranteed, five-year $230-million contract with Cleveland, could face discipline under the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.
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