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Attorney representing Deshaun Watson says NFL has not questioned player; Buzbee releases statement on case

FILE - In this Dec. 27, 2020, file photo, Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson throws a pass during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Houston. One of the 22 women who have filed lawsuits accusing Watson of sexual assault and harassment has dropped her case, citing privacy and security concerns after some of the women were ordered to make their names public following court hearings recently. In court documents filed late Tuesday, April 13, 2021, the woman's attorney, Tony Buzbee, said she "reserves the right to refile the case once such concerns are addressed." (AP Photo/Matt Patterson, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 27, 2020, file photo, Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson throws a pass during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Houston. One of the 22 women who have filed lawsuits accusing Watson of sexual assault and harassment has dropped her case, citing privacy and security concerns after some of the women were ordered to make their names public following court hearings recently. In court documents filed late Tuesday, April 13, 2021, the woman's attorney, Tony Buzbee, said she "reserves the right to refile the case once such concerns are addressed." (AP Photo/Matt Patterson, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – Rusty Hardin, an attorney for Houston Texans Deshaun Watson, says the NFL has yet to interview the quarterback as it investigates whether Watson violated the League’s Personal Conduct Policy.

Twenty-two women accuse Watson of inappropriate conduct during massage sessions.

While Watson’s legal team has said that some massages led to consensual sexual encounters, his attorneys deny that he assaulted any of the women.

Attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents all 22 women suing Watson, has previously confirmed that four of his clients have been interviewed by investigators with the NFL.

The Houston Police Department also said it is also investigating.

There were once talks of a settlement, but Hardin told KPPRC 2 Thursday that there are no settlement conversations going.

“All litigation is about leveraging the other side. From the moment the first lawsuit dropped, Tony Buzbee has had a virtual monopoly on it. And every day that training camp gets a little closer, that leverage only becomes stronger,” said KPRC 2 Legal Analyst Brian Wice. “If the over/under on these lawsuits going away is 90 days, I’ll take the over.”

Hardin said depositions begin in September, but no specific dates have been set.

Buzbee told KPRC 2 last month that he plans to depose Watson for a total of 50 hours.

“I’ve believed from Day 1 that none of these lawsuits ever gets within an area code of a jury. I believe it, even more, today,” said Wice.

On Friday, Buzbee released the following statement on Facebook:

In response to the many queries we’ve received about the Deshaun Watson case. I don’t respond to individual press calls because it’s easier for me to make one statement here. As I’ve said: There will not be a settlement, at least anytime soon. I have my best people on the case. That should tell you a lot about our intentions. Lawsuits are all about the work in the trenches.

My 17 lawyers, under my supervision, are doing the legal grunt work it takes to prepare the cases for trial and another win. I’ve been doing this for many years, and, as the Texas Bar knows, I have rarely lost. And, these are very important cases—these women matter!!—and our team is doing what it takes in discovery and prep to try these cases to a jury.

The press folks say we’ve gone “quiet,” but the truth is we made clear early on that we wouldn’t try these cases in the press and now are doing the important work required for our clients to try these cases to a jury. It’s a lot of work! I would also point out that on a daily basis our firm proudly handles cases for people who have lost loved ones, for people burned beyond recognition, for workers who have had their lives ruined, for people hurt, for people discriminated against, for people wronged, and for people defrauded. Our firm will keep doing that. Thanks for your interest! Stand by.


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