Deshaun Watson Faces Possible Second Testimony in Massage Case

Deshaun Watson Faces Possible Second Testimony in Massage Case: Almost three years since the initial lawsuits were filed against him by multiple women, Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson may be required to testify again in one of the remaining cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct during massage sessions.
An attorney representing a woman who filed a lawsuit against Watson in October 2022 has recently requested a Harris County, Texas court to mandate Watson’s testimony in another in-person deposition before August 1. Watson’s last deposition in the case took place in Houston on June 9; however, a recent court filing indicates that the woman’s attorney terminated the session after two hours and 14 minutes.

Deshaun Watson Faces Possible Second Testimony in Massage Case

The termination was prompted by allegations that Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, improperly instructed Watson to refrain from answering specific questions regarding other cases, including inquiries about whether he had been sexually aroused during previous massage sessions.

The court filing submitted by David Bickham, one of the attorneys representing the woman, states, “Plaintiff seeks an order from this Court compelling the re-deposition of Defendant Watson in order to propound allowable discovery and have such answers produced.” In this document, the plaintiff’s legal representative is requesting the court to issue an order mandating the re-deposition of Deshaun Watson. This action is sought to facilitate permissible discovery, ensuring that Watson provides appropriate answers during the deposition process.

Deshaun Watson’s Remaining Lawsuits

The plaintiff in this particular case is the most recent among 26 women who filed civil lawsuits against Deshaun Watson, alleging sexual misconduct during massage sessions while he was a player for the Houston Texans. Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, acknowledged that Watson engaged in consensual sexual encounters during some massage sessions but vehemently denied any wrongdoing. Subsequently, Watson opted for confidential settlements to resolve 23 out of the 26 lawsuits. Among the remaining three, one was withdrawn by the plaintiff shortly after its filing in March 2021. The other two lawsuits, including the present one, are still pending, with the third case filed in March 2021 showing no apparent trial date as of now.
The allegations surrounding Deshaun Watson significantly disrupted his NFL career, although he was never arrested or formally charged with a crime. He opted out of playing in the 2021 season and was subsequently traded to the Cleveland Browns in March 2022. Following an investigation by the NFL, Watson reached a settlement with the league and the NFL Players Association, resulting in an 11-game suspension. These events have marked a tumultuous period for Watson both professionally and personally.

Deshaun Watson’s Prior Deposition

During Deshaun Watson’s deposition in June, Rusty Hardin, Watson’s attorney, criticized one of the woman’s attorneys, Anissah Nguyen, as revealed in a partial transcript filed in court last week. The dispute centered around Nguyen’s questioning of Watson. Hardin seemed to allude to the uniqueness of this particular lawsuit, noting that it was the only one filed after Watson had settled the other cases in 2022. The exchange highlights the contentious nature of the legal proceedings surrounding Watson’s alleged misconduct during massage sessions.

Rusty Hardin, Deshaun Watson’s attorney, expressed strong opposition to Anissah Nguyen, one of the woman’s attorneys, stating, “Not only is your lawsuit irrational and has no value at all, but we are not going to be trying other incidents in other cases.” Hardin emphasized that Watson had been sued by multiple women, settling numerous lawsuits, all of which were subject to confidentiality agreements. He made it clear that the focus should be on the specific case at hand, dismissing the notion of rehashing details from other resolved lawsuits. Hardin characterized the lawsuit as baseless and warned against attempting to delve into unrelated matters, asserting that Watson would not answer questions about incidents covered by confidentiality agreements. The exchange highlights the legal tension surrounding the scope of questioning in the deposition.

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