Another massage therapist has filed a lawsuit against Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, claiming an incident of sexual misconduct that allegedly took place in December 2020.
The lawsuit was filed in Harris County District Court, Texas on Thursday, October 13.
The plaintiff’s attorney is not Tony Buzbee, who brought 24 lawsuits against Watson, 23 of which have been settled.
The new accuser, a massage therapist, claims Watson pressured her into a sex act during a massage session in December 2020.
‘It’s taken her some time to come forward,’ attorney Anissah Nguyen told Fox 8 WJW in Cleveland.
‘She’s doing it for herself and other women who have been victimized by Deshaun Watson. She knows that by speaking out she is going to have to deal with the hard conversations.’
The lawsuit states: ‘Watson continually pressured (the) plaintiff into massaging his private area. He removed his towel and offered to let her get on top.
‘(The) plaintiff refused to have sex with Watson, however, he was able to pressure her into oral sex.’
The lawsuit continued that Watson paid the plaintiff $185 more for his massage, giving $300 for her services with an hour massage priced at $115.
The plaintiff ‘has suffered from severe depression and anxiety’ following the alleged incident, the lawsuit adds.
Watson is currently serving an 11-game suspension for off-field conduct violations related to ‘predatory’ behavior involving more than two dozen women who alleged sexual assault and other inappropriate behavior. He was also assessed a $5million fine.
The 26-year-old was originally suspended six games by an independent arbitrator before the NFL appealed the perceived light sentence. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had the right to rule over the appeal, but instead tapped former New Jersey attorney general Peter C. Harvey to handle the duties.
The NFL and players’ union reached a compromise before Harvey issued his decision.
As part of the deal, Watson is required to ‘promptly undergo a professional evaluation by behavioral experts and will follow their treatment program.’ He previously told reporters that he was already undergoing counseling.
The three-time Pro Bowl QB was allegedly sexually inappropriate with the women during massage therapy appointments while he played for Houston between 2019 and 2021. Watson settled 23 of 24 civil lawsuits filed by the women, who have accused him of everything from indecent exposure to claims of forced oral sex.
Watson said in a statement that he was sorry ‘for any pain this situation has caused,’ but when speaking to reporters at Browns training camp in August, he once again reiterated his innocence.
‘I’m moving on with my career and my life, and I’m continuing to stand on my innocence,’ Watson said. ‘Just because settlements happen doesn’t mean a person is guilty.’
He also declined to say if the settlement was fair or not: ‘I’m going to keep my opinion to myself.’
Watson’s punishment began on August 30 at 4pm, and he was not eligible to return to the Browns facility until October 10. However, he cannot resume practicing again until November 14.
The fine, coupled with $1m contributions from the NFL and the Browns, will create a $7m charitable fund that will be used to educate young people on sexual assault.