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With accusers' names revealed, Deshaun Watson's legal team has released a new document to try and poke holes at their claims.
- At least 13 alleged victims of Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson will have to release their names. Two different judges granted the emergency motions filed by Watson's attorney today, asking for those accusers to be identified. ABC 13 reporter Roxie Bustamante joining us live from downtown, where we just heard from Watson's attorney from the first time here. Roxie, what have you learned?
ROXIE BUSTAMANTE: Well, the third hearing of the day was actually scheduled to start right now. But we just learned from Watson's attorney that Tony Buzbee, who was representing the alleged victims, he already agreed to amend that 14th case. So we now know that at least 14 accusers will be named by next week. And also Watson's attorney is confident that we'll eventually know the names of all of the women who are alleging these sexual allegations.
Now of course, like we've been telling before, there are 22 civil lawsuits that have been filed. And they've been filed in 15 different district courts. Now two judges ruled in Hardin's favor, granting a total of 13 civil cases, to identify the alleged victims. And those court records will not be sealed, so that will be public record. The accuser's attorney, Tony Buzbee, also claimed in court today that he was concerned about the woman's safety, due to threatening messages and public scrutiny that those who have already identified themselves have been receiving.
Now Hardin also countered that, and he says, that Watson has been on the receiving end of backlash as well. And all this has been in the public eye. You'll remember on Tuesday, one of the alleged victims named Ashley Solis told her story for the first time. Buzbee says, since then, other accusers told him they were OK with their names being released as well. Hardin says, he sympathizes with those women, especially with their names being released and published in public record. But he says, it's Texas law, and that in civil cases, the plaintiffs are identified unless they are minors.
RUSTY HARDIN: And all I am asking here is that we give this man the same benefit that the woman should get. The woman should get the benefit of the belief she may be telling the truth. The man should get the benefit also of being not guilty of it until we have some proof. And we're throwing the baby out, and the bath water out at the same time, in a lot of cases. But are there men who do horrible things? Absolutely. Sometimes, women do too. And I just would like everybody to reserve judgment until they have evidence.
ROXIE BUSTAMANTE: Now Watson's attorney and also his legal team were also talking about his character, talking about what this has done also for him, as he's trying to-- you know, he's lost sponsorships, also talked about them, or they've been suspended temporarily. Now they also say, that they believe that all of these allegations fell in between the time of the pandemic and actually started after the lockdowns in March.