Deshaun Watson used “at least” 66 female massage therapists over a 17-month period between fall of 2019 and spring of 2021, a bombshell report from the New York Times revealed.
Watson has been sued by 24 massage therapists for alleged sexual misconduct. An additional woman sued, but withdrew her suit. Two more therapists made criminal accusations but did not sue. Fifteen defended Watson with statements of support. At least four worked with Genuine Touch, the massage firm hired by the Houston Texans.
Plaintiffs’ lawyers have identified five additional women during the investigation process, and the Times’ Jenny Vrentas confirmed 15 more women through interviews and records reviews.
Two grand juries in Texas declined to press criminal charges against Watson in connection with the myriad of allegations. Watson and his attorneys have repeatedly denied that any sexual activity with massage therapists was non-consensual.
On Monday, a 24th woman filed a lawsuit against Watson, accusing him of ejaculating on her during a massage.
While he has not been criminally charged, the 26-year-old Watson, who was traded from the Texans to the Browns and signed a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract this offseason, faces potential discipline under the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.
One massage therapist who did not sue Watson spoke to The Times about a previously unpublicized experience.
The woman “said he initiated sexual contact” in all three of their appointments. This woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect her privacy, said she began by working on Watson’s back. But when he flipped over, she said his demeanor and voice changed, and he began aggressively dictating where he wanted her to touch him. In their first session, she said he got into the happy baby yoga pose — on his back with his feet in his hands — and asked her to massage between his testicles and anus.
“She laughed off the request but said he grabbed her wrist and put her hand there.
The woman said Watson twice initiated sexual intercourse, once by pulling down the scrubs she was wearing. She and Watson knew each other from around town and were on friendly terms, and she admitted she let him proceed with these sexual acts. ‘I just didn’t know how to tell him no,’ she said.”
Per the New York Times, a member of the Texans organization provided Watson with an NDA form to give massage therapists. The franchise said in a statement the team first learned of sexual misconduct allegations against the quarterback in March of 2021. The Texans also said they have cooperated with investigators and “will continue to do so.”
In a deposition, Watson was asked about a post-massage text message he sent to Ashley Solis, an accuser who later spoke to HBO’s “Real Sports” about her experience, apologizing that she was uncomfortable — and the reason why.
“I don’t know,” Watson said. “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. I don’t know. Do not know.”