Two of the 22 women who have filed civil lawsuits against Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson identified themselves during a press conference.
HOUSTON – Two of the 22 women who have filed lawsuits against the Los Angeles quarterback Houston Texans, Deshaun Watson, alleging sexual assault and misconduct, came forward publicly on Tuesday during a press conference.
Ashley Soliswho the lawyer Tony buzbee Said she was the first masseuse to sue Watson, spoke at the press conference. Lauren Baxley wrote a letter to Watson that was read by the lawyer Cornelia Brandfield-Harvey.
“I got involved in massage therapy to heal people,” he said. Solis. “Heal their minds and their bodies. Bring peace to their bodies. Deshaun Watson He has robbed me of it. It took that away from me, it stained a profession in which I find great pride … I suffer from panic attacks, anxiety and depression. I am in therapy as a result of the actions of Deshaun Watson. I hope you know how much pain you have inflicted on me emotionally, and physically. And I hope you know how much pain it has inflicted on these other survivors. “
“People say I do this just for the money,” he said. Solis. “That is false. I step forward now so that Deshaun Watson don’t assault another woman. “
In his letter to Watson, Baxley wrote, “Every line from professional and therapeutic to sexual and degrading you crossed or tried to cross.”
Baxley he said he wrote the letter to Watson under the recommendation of his trauma therapist to “forgive me for not having spoken before”, and that it was “so that you know without excuse or justification that they have brought deep and irreversible terror to me and others”.
“Initially I stepped forward to offer solidarity to other women, but since then I realized that I also deserve justice,” she said. Baxley. “I hope the court delivers that justice, and that you are stripped of your power and your ability to hurt more women.”
In a statement issued this Tuesday, the spokesperson for the NFL, Brian McCarthy, described the allegations as “deeply disturbing”, noting that, “we take these issues very seriously.”
McCarthy said the league launched an investigation under its personal conduct policy last month, after the first allegations against Watson, and that the NFL “It continues to closely monitor all developments on the subject.”
A source told Ed Werder of ESPN that NFL has been in direct contact with Buzbee.
Watson has publicly denied any misconduct, and his attorney, Rusty Hardin, said last month to believe that “any allegation that Deshaun Forcing a woman to commit a sexual act is completely untrue. “
Last week, 18 women issued statements through Hardin, saying that they have worked with the quarterback of the Texans and that he “never made them feel uncomfortable or demanded anything outside the spectrum of a professional massage.”
The attorney for Watson said the statements were voluntary from women who have worked together “with Deshaun more than 130 times over the past five years. “
On Tuesday, Buzbee said that one of the women who made those statements also sent a direct message regarding Watson, saying she stopped working with him because she “listened too much about him messing with other people.”
“They are two different stories,” he explained. Buzbee. “Now, am I suggesting that those 18 women had bad experiences? I don’t know. Am I suggesting that there was a reason they came out publicly? I don’t know. That’s a question for you to ask yourself. But what did you do? I know, it’s what was said publicly by one individual and what was said privately were two different things. “
Buzbee He also said that his office “ruled out approximately five women, for whom we did not believe we could argue a case.”
According to Buzbee, Solis and at least one more of his clients offered statements to the police. On Friday, the Houston Police Department said in a statement that it had launched an investigation into Watson after a report was filed.
“As with any allegation, the Houston Police Department is now conducting an investigation and will not comment until later in the investigative process,” the department said in a statement. He did not specify what he was accused of Watson in the complaint.
Hardin said in a statement later on Friday that he and Watson “They will cooperate fully with the Houston Police Department.”
“We welcome this long-awaited event,” he revealed. Hardin regarding the police getting involved in the matter. “Now, we will know the identity of at least one plaintiff. We will fully cooperate with the Houston Police Department.”
In a letter sent by the Texans on Monday to their fans with a season ticket that is regularly sent out during the spring, the family McNair He mentioned the civil lawsuits and the complaint filed with the Houston Police Department, noting, “We want to assure you that we are taking those allegations very seriously.
“While we await the conclusion of these investigations, we express our firm position against any form of sexual assault,” the letter reads. “Our family and the entire organization of the Houston Texans they are deeply bothered by any form of abuse, and we condemn this type of conduct. “