Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has been accused of indecent conduct stemming from encounters with two different masseuses in Houston last year, according to two separate civil complaints filed this week in Harris County, Texas.
The first complaint alleges that Watson contacted the plaintiff, a licensed massage therapist, on Instagram inquiring about a massage and the two eventually scheduled an appointment at the plaintiff's home in March 2020. Per the complaint, Watson informed the plaintiff prior to meeting that he wanted a "massage for relaxation" as opposed to a sports massage.
The complaint alleges that during the massage Watson said that he wanted the focus to be on "his groin area." Watson later allegedly exposed himself from under his massage towel, and then touched the plaintiff's hand with his genitals after moving his body to further expose himself. The plaintiff then ended the massage and asked Watson to leave.
After news of the initial lawsuit broke Tuesday night, Watson released the following statement on social media:
"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. 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."
Later Wednesday, a second civil complaint was filed detailing similar allegations against Watson.
The complaint alleges Watson contacted the plaintiff, who owns her own company offering massage therapy services, on Instagram expressing interest in a massage. The two exchanged messages, in which Watson allegedly told the plaintiff he wanted a massage that focused primarily on his glutes and groin area and asked if she was comfortable "working on those areas," per the complaint. A massage later was scheduled for August 2020 at a Houston-area hotel and Watson flew the plaintiff out from Atlanta for the appointment.
Watson allegedly completely undressed at the onset of the massage with his genitals exposed and declined the use of a massage towel. Watson allegedly attempted to direct the plaintiff toward his genitals during the course of the massage and at one point moved in her direction "causing [the plaintiff's] hand to touch" his genitals, per the complaint. Watson then allegedly turned onto his back, exposing himself and declined the use of a towel or sheet to cover himself. The plaintiff then stopped the massage and told Watson she needed to leave, per the complaint.
The Texans said in a statement Wednesday morning that they became aware of the first civil lawsuit on social media Tuesday night.
"This is the first time we have heard of the matter, and we hope to learn more soon," the team said, per NFL Network's James Palmer. "We take accusations of this nature that involve anyone within the Houston Texans organization seriously. We will await further information before making any additional statements on this incident."
Watson's future has been one of the biggest storylines in the NFL this offseason after he requested a trade from the Texans, who drafted him in the first round in 2017. Texans coach David Culley recently stated Houston is "committed" to Watson as its quarterback as the team has consistently indicated it has no interest in trading the three-time Pro Bowl signal-caller.
Watson threw for an NFL-best 4,832 yards in 2020 with 33 touchdowns to just seven interceptions.