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New lawsuit filed against Browns QB Deshaun Watson for alleged incident during massage session in 2020

Will not impact current suspension, source confirms
Deshaun Watson
Posted at 8:53 PM, Oct 13, 2022

CLEVELAND — A new lawsuit was filed against Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson in Harris County, Texas, according to a filing from the District Court of Harris County.

Attorney Anissah M. Nguyen filed the suit on Thursday on behalf of a woman only identified as "Jane Doe," who is a licensed massage therapist. The suit claims Watson sought out sex-related acts during a massage therapy appointment that occurred on Dec. 18, 2020.

The woman claims Watson reached out to set up an appointment via Instagram and as a "small business owner" was actively trying to grow her business and expand her client base, the lawsuit says.

Watson is accused of trying to have sex with the woman and when she refused, the woman claims he was able to "pressure her into oral sex," before paying her $300 for her services despite her $115-an-hour rate.

In August, Watson's suspension was increased from six games to 11 with an additional $5 million fine. The provision from the original six-game suspension also requires Watson to undergo therapy and treatment as part of the settlement.

As part of Watson's agreement, he is not subject to further league discipline for any alleged personal conduct policy violations arising from the same and or similar conduct that allegedly occurred before his settlement with the NFL.

This new lawsuit falls under the agreement as the cases are similar in nature and occurred before Watson's settlement with the league. The new lawsuit will therefore not impact his current suspension, a league source confirmed to News 5's Camryn Justice.

The NFL released the following statement regarding the matter:

"Watson’s status remains unchanged. We will monitor developments in the newly-filed litigation; and any conduct that warrants further investigation or possible additional sanctions would be addressed within the Personal Conduct Policy."

RELATED: Deshaun Watson suspension increased to 11 games as NFL gets harsher penalty it sought for Browns QB

According to the lawsuit, Jane Doe seeks "minimal compensatory damages" as a result of the filing.

Nguyen released a statement regarding the lawsuit.

My client's experience with DeShaun Watson follows a series of disturbingly similar encounters reported by more than 20 women who have filed suit against the NFL superstar. Like so many others, my client spent nearly two years struggling to cope with trauma from all that he stole from her and the daily pain that has become her reality.

Knowing her story will bring on the hard conversations, criticism and even victim-blaming, the strength and bravery of these other women gave my client the courage to stand up and speak out. She seeks justice not only for herself and her own healing, but for the more than 20 women who refused to be shamed into silence, and the victims who have yet to come forward.

We are still in the early stages of litigation, but we will seek to depose Mr. Watson before the end of the year.
Anissah M. Nguyen

The lawsuit comes days after Watson was allowed back in Berea to attend team meetings and game planning with the Browns. He is not eligible to practice with the team until Nov. 14.

"I'm not at all surprised. I expected a few more cases might be filed," said Tony Buzbee, the attorney who represented the 24 women who first filed suit.

To read the entire lawsuit, click here.

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