Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio addressed the mounting allegations of sexual misconduct against quarterback Deshaun Watson in an interview with the team's website this week.
"We're certainly cognizant and aware," Caserio told the "Texans All Access" podcast. "We made a statement in the beginning about where the organization stood. I would say it's a legal situation, it's a legal process, so we're certainly respectful of that.
"We certainly take them very seriously. The allegations, what's been discussed, are certainly troubling. Organizationally that's not something that we can condone, that we condone, those types of actions. But again we'll let the legal process take care of itself, and however it's gonna unfold, we'll certainly comply and do what we can to help and facilitate a resolution for everybody."
Caserio's comments are the first by a member of Houston's front office or team brass on the allegations against Watson.
As of Tuesday, Watson has been accused by 19 different women in separate civil lawsuits of various forms of sexual assault and harassment during massage sessions.
After the first suit was filed against Watson two weeks ago, the Texans released the following statement: "This is the first time we have heard of the matter, and we hope to learn more soon. 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."
On Monday, three additional women filed civil lawsuits against the Texans quarterback, bringing Watson's total number of accusers to 19. All 19 cases have been filed in Harris County, Texas, and all 19 plaintiffs are represented by Houston lawyer Tony Buzbee.
In one of the lawsuits filed Monday, Watson is accused of "deleting Instagram messages, and contacting those who formally provided him massages, in an attempt to settle."
Watson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, denied Watson has attempted to settle cases with any of the plaintiffs.
"Like a lot of people, Deshaun regularly deletes past Instagram messages," Hardin said in a statement released Monday. "That said, he has not deleted any messages since March 15th, the day before the first lawsuit was filed. We categorically deny that he has reached out directly to his accusers in an attempt to settle these cases.
"Opposing counsel's continued statements that these cases aren't about money do not square with the facts in at least two of these cases. It is incredibly irresponsible to continue to make these types of false allegations in this avalanche of anonymous lawsuits, particularly while we are still trying to find out who the accusers are. We will address these issues, and others raised in these cases, in our formal response to the court in the coming weeks."
Buzbee has stated he plans to submit evidence from several of Watson's accusers to investigators. However, on Tuesday evening, Buzbee issued a statement in regard to his reluctance to release evidence.
"These Deshaun Watson cases continue to mount; we filed two more public cases today," Buzbee said, in part. "Our team has been roundly criticized because these numerous brave women haven't filed formal criminal complaints with HPD (although we have provided info to other organizations.) Here is my worry: When I ran for Houston mayor against the CURRENT mayor, I called for the resignation of the former police chief. I was thus reluctant initially in these important cases to provide info to HPD, at least while Art Acevedo was the Police Chief -- even though my brother in law is a long-term HPD officer. Mr. Acevedo has now left Houston for Miami. Yet, I've since learned that my legal opponent, Mr. Hardin, has a son who is on of the exclusive Command Staff of HPD. I am not saying in any way that Deshaun Watson's lawyer, Mr. Hardin, has a son who has a position that would compromise HPD and its investigation. I support his service, along with all Houston police officers -- I think the rank and file know that. But, I am saying that me and my clients will go elsewhere to provide our evidence to investigative authorities. Stand by."
Authorities have declined to comment on the allegations.
The NFL is investigating the allegations against Watson.