The Texans could soon be included as defendants in the lawsuits against Deshaun Watson, which allege sexual misconduct and abuse during massage therapy sessions by the former Houston quarterback.
Tony Buzbee, the attorney for the 24 women suing Watson in Harris County civil court, released a statement Wednesday afternoon announcing the Texans would be added as defendants and his legal team is "considering many others."
Buzbee claims the Texans and their contracted massage therapy company Genuine Touch, facilitated Watson's alleged conduct.
The statement from Buzbee comes one day after the New York Times published an article revealing Watson met with at least 66 women for message therapy sessions over a 17-month period from 2019 to 2021, when the lawsuits first began to emerge.
According to the Times article, at least four therapists from Genuine Touch worked on Watson. The Texans also provided Watson with a room at the Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa, where some of the alleged incidents occurred. And their director of security once provided Watson with a non-disclosure agreement after learning one woman, who later became a plaintiff, threatened on social media to expose Watson's conduct.
"In many of these cases, the Texans provided the opportunity for this conduct to occur," Buzbee's statement reads. "We believe the Texans organization was well aware of Watson's issues, but failed to act. They knew or certainly should have known. The Houston Texans organization provided rooms for Watson at the high-end Houstonian hotel for 'massages'; the Texans also provided massage tables and other support for Watson's proclivities - ostensibly to protect their 'asset.' We intend to make sure all involved in Watson's conduct are held accountable, in addition to and including Watson himself."
Watson last played football during the 2020 season, when he led the NFL in passing yards while the Texans went 4-12. After that season, he requested a trade from the Texans, then later was accused by more than 20 women of inappropriate sexual behavior during massage sessions.
Watson was on the Texans' roster last season, but was inactive every game while they worked on trading him. He was eventually traded in March to the Cleveland Browns for three first-round picks, a third-round pick, and two fourth-round picks. The Browns subsequently signed Watson to a fully guaranteed, five-year extension worth $230 million.