Browns QB Watson must address history with therapists

HOUSTON (AP) — Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson must say if he had sex with 18 massage therapists who supported him last year following criminal complaints, a Texas judge ruled Tuesday. .

USA Today reported that Watson had 30 days to comply. Previously, he did not discuss his past with therapists. Watson must also provide other information about his massage history since 2019, including any language in his massage contract with the Texans.

One of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, Watson was traded last month from Houston to Cleveland.

He was accused by 22 women of sexual misconduct during therapy sessions, many of which were arranged by contacting the therapists on social media in 2020 and 2021.

At this point, two grand juries declined to indict Watson on 10 criminal complaints filed with the Houston police. He is still facing civil lawsuits and has been giving statements about it for several weeks.

As part of the civil lawsuits, the women’s lawyers want Watson to respond to written ‘requests for admission’ to find out if he had sex with the 18 therapists who supported him after the first lawsuits were filed. against him in March 2021.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs say the answers would demonstrate a pattern and motives for setting up the massages.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Harris County District Court Judge Rabeea Sultan Collier ruled in favor of the plaintiff, USA Today reported. Watson’s attorney asked for the reasoning but Collier didn’t explain.

“The objection is overruled,” the judge said in response. “Thank you.”

Watson, a three-time Pro Bowler, sat out last season after asking the Texans to trade him. When the first grand jury chose not to indict Watson, it sparked a bidding war between the Browns and several NFL teams.

Watson initially turned the Browns down before changing his mind, waiving his no-trade clause and signing a record five-year, $230 million fully guaranteed contract with Cleveland.

Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam said they initially struggled with the decision to sue Watson, knowing he would not be popular with many fans. However, they said they became more comfortable with him after meeting Watson and learning more about him.

When introduced by Cleveland late last month, Watson told the media, “I have never assaulted, disrespected or harassed a woman in my life. I’ve never done those things that people claim. It was the first time he had answered direct questions about the allegations.

Watson still faces likely discipline from the NFL.

Last week, commissioner Roger Goodell said there was no timeline for the league’s investigation into Watson’s off-field behavior. An independent arbitrator will determine whether Watson violated the league’s personal conduct policy before Goodell issues a penalty.

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