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Yahoo Sports’ Senior NFL Writer Charles Robinson and Yahoo Sports’ Columnist Dan Wetzel discuss the 23rd civil lawsuit filed against Deshaun Watson for sexual misconduct. What does it mean for Watson, the Browns and the NFL? Hear the full conversation on the You Pod to Win the Game podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Deshaun Watson-- I'm in Houston. The story that never stops, Deshaun Watson, now 23rd lawsuit filed on Tuesday. Tony Buzbee, once again, the attorney for now 23 plaintiffs in this case, alleging an array of either sexual misconduct or sexual assault. Now there's a 23rd suit.
Rusty Hardin, Deshaun Watson's attorney, pretty pissed off about that, put out a biting statement yesterday, basically saying this is all about Tony Buzbee trying to continue to gain notoriety or fame or publicity, and it's just another woman. And I'm paraphrasing here. But he did use the word payday-- just another woman looking for a payday when it comes to Deshaun Watson.
It's interesting because this woman-- her name's out there. The suits under her name. You can look it up if you want. I'm not going to name her on the show, whatever. You can find that. She actually came out last summer and spoke to a YouTube personality, did a whole interview, laid out what her interaction was with Deshaun Watson.
She was very similar to what some of the other suits allege. What I thought was interesting, though, in this lawsuit, was the exhibits that were filed with it. This woman basically says, hey, I'm a licensed cosmetologist. She also does massage therapy. It was something that was set up.
Her boss, she says, was very much involved in this process of setting up these massages. They got-- according to this lawsuit, the allegations, that it got progressively worse to the point where it was unwanted touching, sexual advances, just really aggressive in nature. The exhibit's, though, filed, where she says, my boss is kind of involved in this, found out that the boss was getting money from Deshaun Watson.
Some of the exhibits are photos of a $5,000 cash app transaction from Deshaun Watson and then pictures of, like-- it looks like a purse or, like, a handbag, stuffed with cash in rubber bands. And is basically saying, DD cashed me out, which the allegation is that Deshaun Watson basically paid a ton of money. This massage therapist, this licensed cosmetologist, she says, my boss was in on it.
She was getting paid by Deshaun Watson to set up some of these interactions, basically acting as a middle person to ferry women that were supposedly-- supposed to be given massages, but instead they were engaging in sex or whatever-- basically a pimp, OK? That's what-- I mean, that's effectively what the allegation is here.
I mean, all I know is, for Watson, for the Browns, this seemed so inevitable to me, that at some point, there was going to be another sort of round of this. There was going to be someone else that came out. This comes out after the "Real Sports" interview, which is what this woman said prompted her mind.
She-- initially, she wasn't going to come out with these allegations, other than what she had spoken to publicly. She was going to file a lawsuit. She saw the "Real Sports" interview, where a couple of the accusers, the women involved in litigation, spoke. She said that gave her the courage to change her mind.
It's-- I feel like this is something that is years-- like, this is going to-- I really, truly believe, this is going to drag on for years, unless there is a settlement. But at this point, I don't know why there would be a settlement. I really think there's a chance that a lot of these end up going to trial.
DAN WETZEL: Yeah. I mean, you don't know if there's-- that's always the question, is more. And the real issue is, the only person who knows how many incidents there are or even possible incidents is Deshaun Watson. Deshaun Watson knows how many massages he got. Or over the course of time-- and he's had plenty of spare time-- he could have figured it out, right?
So he's the one who knows, I hired-- let's say there are 23, but let's say he hired 50 people. I don't know. The other 20-- he's going to say he's innocent of all 50. But he knows there's 50.
Well, let's reach out now to the other 27 and get this out of the way. And if someone comes and is like, hey, he did this. It's like, I never even met you. But he knows. I mean, he knows. So--
CHARLES ROBINSON: Well, part of the allegation that's sort of interesting-- and actually, during this interview last summer, one of the things that the woman said was-- when all of these lawsuits got filed back in March-- and remember, they were under Jane Doe. Because initially-- Tony Buzbee-- there were no names. He wouldn't reveal the identities.
She said that Deshaun Watson's defense team-- she alleges Deshaun Watson's defense team reached out to her for a meeting. So she goes to this meeting. And she says that it became apparent to her that because all these suits have been filed under Jane Doe and because, according to her, or what she felt, was that Watson had engaged in so many of these, that he had no idea who it could have been filing these suits.
DAN WETZEL: Right.
CHARLES ROBINSON: So it's like, he had done-- like, she's basically saying, he had done this so many times, that when lawsuits start to get filed, he couldn't even remember the specific incidents, or who it happened with, or who the women might have been. He was struggling-- she-- according to her, he was struggling to, like, figure out the contact information and all this different stuff.
So she's like, I go to this meeting, and thinking, like, they're going to ask me to tell my side of the story. But she alleges it wasn't even about that. It was them basically making sure I wasn't filing the suit.