NFL quarterback Deshawn Watson’s name has been on the headlines all the way since the middle of March after the Houston Texans star was accused of sexual assault by several women.
On the wake of two of the women coming forward to open up their identities, the league as finally issued an official statement on the situation and has also decided to put Watson under investigation.
Last month, Texans attorney Tony Buzbee claimed that Deshaun Watson had taken advantage of a masseuse during a massage session and Buzbee’s law firm decided to file a lawsuit.
While the player negated the sexual assault claims at first, subsequently a total of 22 women filed lawsuits against Watson but had hidden their identities initially. While initially all the lawsuits were tagged to be civil in nature, last Friday Houston Police confirmed via an official statement that that one of them was a criminal lawsuit.
NFL puts Deshaun Watson under the radar
In a press conference held by Buzbee on Tuesday, two of them came forward to reveal their identities. Ashley Solis, a massage therapist, claimed that she was sexually abused by Watson on 30th March last year and has been suffering from “panic attacks, anxiety and depression” since the incident.
“I am survivor of assault and harassment, Deshaun Watson is my assaulter and my harasser, he assaulted me at my home doing what I love most, massage therapy”, Solis stated, “I can no longer practice the profession I love the most without shaking…I hope he knew how heartbreaking that is to me.”
Along with Solis, another woman who revealed her identity was Lauren Baxley and a letter from her directed at Watson was read at Buzbee’s conference.
“Every boundary from professional and therapeutic, to sexual and degrading, you crossed,” the letter from Baxley read.
Soon after Solis and Baxley came forward to reveal themselves, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy opened up about the allegations that the three-time Pro Bowler has been charged with, terming all of it “deeply disturbing” while stating that the league currently has Watson under investigation under the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.
“The allegations are deeply disturbing and we take these issues very seriously,” McCarthy was quoted by Ed Werder of ESPN, “Immediately following news of the first allegations last month, and as has been reported, we initiated an investigation under the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. We are continuing to closely monitor all developments in the matter.”
On the other hand, there has been statements from 18 masseuses in favour of Watson, with some of them calling the accusations “ludicrous” and stating that the player “one of the most professional” to work on.