Texans star Watson faces third massage therapist lawsuit

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·2 min read
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is reportedly the subject of three civil lawsuits by massage therapists alleging improper actions by the NFL star
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Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, pushing for a trade from the NFL club, was sued by a third massage therapist Thursday and faces allegations of sexual misconduct and assault.

Multiple media reports Thursday said the latest civil lawsuit was filed at Harris County District Court in Texas, claiming Watson forced a female masseuse to perform a sex act during a session in Houston last December.

The Houston Chronicle, USA Today and ESPN reported the latest lawsuit, which followed those where Watson was accused of civil assault by touching the message therapist with his genitals.

The Texans said in a Thursday statement that they will cooperate with the league's investigation, per NFL Network's James Palmer.

"The NFL informed us today that they will conduct an investigation into the allegations made in the civil lawsuits filed against Deshaun Watson," the Texans said in a statement on Thursday, reported by NFL Network.

"We will stay in close contact with the league as they do."

The Texans had said in their first statement on the matter that they learned of the first lawsuit via social media on Tuesday night.

"We continue to take this and all matters involving anyone within the Houston Texans organization seriously," the team said Thursday. "We do not anticipate making any additional statements until the NFL's investigation concludes."

Watson said in a statement Tuesday before details of the first civil lawsuit became public, claiming misconduct in March 2020, that he looks forward to clearing his name.

"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," he wrote.

"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."

Watson threw for an NFL-leading 4,832 yards in 2020 with 33 touchdowns and just seven interceptions.

The Texans drafted him in the first round in 2017 and coach David Culley has said the team is "committed" to Watson, although the three-time Pro Bowler has reportedly requested a trade.

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