Deshaun Watson might have to testify again in massage case

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson may be required to testify once again in one of the remaining lawsuits accusing him of sexual misconduct during massage sessions. Nearly three years since the first lawsuits were filed against him, an attorney for a woman who sued Watson in October 2022 has requested a court in Harris County, Texas, to compel Watson to provide another in-person deposition before August 1.

The woman’s attorney, David Bickham, filed a court document stating that during Watson’s last deposition on June 9, the session was prematurely terminated after two hours and 14 minutes. Bickham claimed that Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, instructed him not to answer specific questions about other cases, including whether he had been sexually aroused during previous massage sessions.

The plaintiff in this case is the last of 26 women who sued Watson in civil court, alleging sexual misconduct during massage sessions when he played for the Houston Texans. Watson, represented by Hardin, admitted to consensual sexual encounters during massages but denied any wrongdoing. Confidential settlements were reached for 23 of the 26 lawsuits, leaving two pending, including this one, and another filed in March 2021.

While the allegations significantly impacted Watson’s NFL career, leading to a suspension for 11 games in 2022 after an NFL investigation, he was never arrested or charged with a crime. Watson was traded to the Cleveland Browns in March 2022.

In the recent deposition, Hardin vehemently denied the woman’s allegations of pressure into oral sex at The Houstonian hotel in December 2020. Hardin contested the lawsuit’s value and rationality, emphasizing that questions about other cases, subject to confidentiality agreements, would not be entertained. He asserted that Watson would only answer questions related to the plaintiff in this case.

The legal battle surrounding Deshaun Watson’s alleged misconduct continues, with this deposition request shedding light on the ongoing complexities and disputes within the remaining lawsuits.