HOUSTON – Houston attorney Tony Buzbee said in a statement Tuesday evening that his law firm will amend all 22 lawsuits against Deshaun Watson to reveal the names of the prosecutors, “even those not currently subject to a court order.”
The lawsuits, all originally filed on behalf of Jane Does from March 16 to April 2, allege inappropriate conduct and assault against the Houston Texans quarterback.
On Friday, two judges ruled that most of the plaintiffs suing Watson must identify themselves. The rulings from two hearings on Friday covered 13 of the 22 lawsuits filed against Watson, while the lawyers also agreed to release a 14th name later in the day. Prior to Friday, only two women had been publicly identified.
Another emergency hearing to determine whether the remaining lawsuits should be changed was scheduled for Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. CT in the 113th district court. That hearing was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, before Buzbee sent out his statement saying the law firm would amend all petitions.
As of Tuesday night, 11 lawsuits have been amended and are available on the Harris County District Clerk’s website.
In his statement, Buzbee said his law firm had “previously attempted to make the names of the prosecutors accusing Deshaun Watson available to counsel, and that he intended to do so in due course.”
“We were concerned about the safety of these prosecutors and asked the Watson team to agree to a protection order whereby the identities could be used in lawsuits but not broadcast to the world,” Buzbee’s statement continued.
In a statement last week, Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin said that when his law firm asked Buzbee “weeks ago to identify his clients, he declined, saying we had to file a motion.”
“While I understand that anonymity is often used as a shield for victims, Mr. Buzbee uses it like a sword,” Hardin said in a statement Thursday. While protecting his clients from public scrutiny, Mr. Buzbee continues to use their anonymous allegations to destroy Mr. Watson. This is simply not correct. And we look forward to resolving these cases in court. ‘
Hardin acknowledged at a press conference Friday that there had been some “consensual encounters” between Watson and some of the 22 women who filed lawsuits against him, but said that at no point did Watson take any actions that were “mutually unwanted.” “
Were there sometimes consensual encounters? Yes, ”said Hardin.
When asked for his comments about Watson engaging in sex acts with some of the women who filed lawsuits against him, Hardin replied, “There will be no question about some of these massages. We never ran away from them.”
In his statement on Tuesday, Buzbee said that while Watson may “now claim that he had permission to do what he did” with these women, “he had no permission in their minds.