Three women are accusing Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual assault, and the NFL is investigating the claims. NFL special counsel for investigations Lisa Friel confirmed to Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing the women who have accused Watson, that the league is investigating this matter.
“I became aware of the lawsuits you filed yesterday, as well as the one you filed this morning, which contain various allegations of misconduct by Houston Texans player Deshaun Watson,” Friel wrote in a letter deemed confidential, which Buzbee shared in a since-deleted Instagram post (via the Houston Chronicle’s Matt Young).
“I am writing to let you know that the League has opened an investigation into these allegations and to request the cooperation of your clients in our investigation. Such cooperation would begin with engaging in Zoom interviews with myself and another League investigator at which, of course, you would be present.”
Three massage therapists have filed suit against the 25-year-old quarterback alleging sexual assault. The third accuser alleges Watson forced her to perform oral sex. Watson denies any wrongdoing and has hired attorney Rusty Hardin to represent him, Young reports. The Texans released a statement indicating they are cooperating with the investigation.
Watson is a three-time Pro Bowler who is already a central component of the NFL offseason. The star quarterback has requested a trade from the Texans, who signed him to a $39MM-per-year extension last summer. The Texans have insisted they will not trade Watson. This investigation may pause the trade rumors attached to Watson.
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