Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was hit with four lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct on Friday, bringing the total number of such suits filed this week to seven — and Houston lawyer Tony Buzbee, who has filed all of the complaints, said on Instagram that there will likely be nine total cases brought against the NFL star.
Each case involves a pattern of assault against female masseuses; ESPN reports that "while six of the lawsuits allege these were one-time encounters... one woman alleges she was sexually assaulted by Watson on multiple occasions." One claimed to have been forced to perform oral sex on Watson, and, like the other alleged victims, now suffers from panic attacks and depression.
On Tuesday, Watson posted a statement on Twitter in which he claimed that "I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect," and on Friday, his agent, David Mulugheta, tweeted, "Sexual assault is real. Victims should be heard, offenders prosecuted… I simply hope we keep this same energy with the truth." The NFL is investigating, and on Thursday, Watson's team said it takes "this and all matters involving anyone within the Houston Texans organization seriously."