Deshaun Watson’s legal troubles grow as 23rd accuser comes forward

Deshaun Watson reportedly saw 66 women in a 17 month span for massages
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson throws a pass during NFL football practice at the team’s training facility Wednesday, May 25, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

DeShaun Watson’s legal troubles have taken an unexpected but not unfamiliar turn. 

According to reports, a 23rd woman has been filed against the Cleveland Browns QB, making it the 23rd lawsuit the QB is facing. 

The 22 other civil suits were filed back in March of 2021. The 23rd suit states that the woman “three encounters with Watson in which Watson’s behavior got progressively worse.”

The suit goes on to say that, during the summer of 2020, Watson “exposed himself to her, touched the woman between her legs, and repeatedly requested that the woman have sex with him.” The woman acknowledges that she was not going to come forward; however, after the HBO Documentary aired on Real Sports with Brian Gumbel, changed her mind. 

The Cleveland Browns QB has not been criminally charged and his lawyers have vehemently denied the latest accusation. 

Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin said Watson denied the allegations “just as he has since she first discussed them with members of our firm in March of last year.” Watson’s legal team has worked around the clock to fight the accusations against him. However in the latest lawsuit, the legal team is even accused of intimidating her when the first round of lawsuits were filed last year. 

Watson’s legal team had denied any allegations of lawyer intimidation when the sides had previously met. 

The latest lawsuit further complicates a messy situation with DeShaun Watson and even the NFL. As early as last week, NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell stated that the NFL was close to wrapping up their investigation in the Watson case and “no timetable” on discipline was announced. 

Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson
FILE – Cleveland Browns new quarterback Deshaun Watson speaks during a news conference at the NFL football team’s training facility, March 25, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. NFL officials will meet this week with Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson as the league continues to investigate whether he violated its personal-conduct policy, a person familiar with the plans told The Associated Press on Monday, May 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)

Deshaun Watson deals with League Precedent

While no criminal charges were files there is precedent of the NFL disciplining players under the personal conduct policy. The policy states that “conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in” the NFL is considered a violation.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers QB, Ben Roethlisberger was suspended six games in 2010 after a woman came forward accusing the Super Bowl champion of sexual assault.  

After an appeal, the suspension was cut down to four games. 

Other sports have harshened the penalty of the personal conduct policy as well for accusations of sexual assault. In Major League Baseball, Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer has been suspended for two years after three women came forward with accusations of sexual assault. 

While the NFL is not obligated to follow other leagues’ precedent, the latest accusation against Watson has muddied the waters again.

This also comes just two weeks after the NFL had spoke with Watson and his legal team as part of their investigation into the new lawsuit.

The NFL has not commented on the latest suit that has been files. 

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