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Two massage therapists are accusing Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson of inappropriate sexual conduct during separate sessions last year, one in March and another in August, according to two lawsuits filed in as many days.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Harris County, Tex., a practitioner in Atlanta accused Watson of inappropriate touching and said he had undressed while she was out of the room and intentionally touched her hand with his penis during the massage.
The first plaintiff also said he had “intentionally or knowingly caused physical contact with Plaintiff when Watson knew, or should have reasonably known, that Plaintiff would regard such contact as offensive,” reported ESPN.
In addition, the lawsuit alleges, he “aggressively” dictated how he wanted the massage to be performed, The Washington Post reported, telling the therapist “only to use her hands.”
The woman became “extremely uncomfortable about 25 minutes into the session, according to the lawsuit, which claimed, “It became apparent that Watson wanted a massage for only one reason — sex.”
Watson, 25, countered to the first lawsuit with a statement of his own before the second suit was filed, alleging that he had refused to grant “a baseless six-figure settlement demand” before the filing, and looked forward to clearing his name.
He did not comment further, and did not address the second complaint.
“I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect,” he said on Twitter.
The second lawsuit contained similar claims and is one of four Buzbee said he plans to file, reported the Houston Chronicle on Wednesday.
“Watson’s behavior is part of a disturbing pattern of preying on vulnerable women,” the lawsuit reads, according to the Chronicle.
The Texans said they were made aware of the first lawsuit through a social media post. The plaintiff’s attorney, Tony Buzbee, posted on both Facebook and Instagram when the lawsuit was filed.
“This is the first time we heard of the matter, and we hope to learn more soon,” the team said in a statement obtained by The Washington Post. “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, whose entire career has been with the Texans, is one year into a four-year, $156 million contract extension he signed last year, according to The Washington Post. He has been tapped for the Pro Bowl in three of his four NFL seasons.