Tony Buzbee released a lengthy statement and expressed a “worry” with the possibility of giving information to authorities that could potentially lead to criminal charges against Watson.
“Our team has been roundly criticized because these numerous brave women haven’t filed formal criminal complaints with HPD (although we have provided info to other organizations.) Here is my worry: When I ran for Houston mayor against the CURRENT mayor, I called for the resignation of the former police chief. I was thus reluctant initially in these important cases to provide info to HPD, at least while Art Acevedo was the Police Chief—even though my brother in law is a long-term HPD officer,” Buzbee wrote on social media.
“Mr. Acevedo has now left Houston for Miami. Yet, I’ve since learned that my legal opponent, Mr. Hardin, has a son who is on of the exclusive Command Staff of HPD. I am not saying in any way that Deshaun Watson’s lawyer, Mr. Hardin, has a son who has a position that would compromise HPD and its investigation. I support his service, along with all Houston police officers—I think the rank and file know that. But, I am saying that me and my clients will go elsewhere to provide our evidence to investigative authorities. Stand by.”
There are 19 lawsuits against Watson available for public viewing on the Harris County, Texas, court website. Two more suits would bring the total number against the NFL star to 21.
Texans general manager Nick Caserio called the allegations against Watson “troubling.”
“It’s a legal process so we’re certainly respectful of that,” Caserio said on the Texans’ All-Access podcast. “We certainly take them very seriously. The allegations, what’s been discussed, are certainly troubling. Organizationally that’s not something that we can condone, those types of actions. But, again, we’ll let the legal process take care of itself.”
After the last two allegations, which included Watson deleting Instagram messages to allegedly cover-up communication with the massage therapists in question, his lawyer Rusty Hardin released a statement.
“Like a lot of people, Deshaun regularly deletes past Instagram messages,” Hardin said Monday. “That said, he has not deleted any messages since March 15th, the day before the first lawsuit was filed. We categorically deny that he has reached out directly to his accusers in an attempt to settle these cases.
“Opposing counsel’s continued statements that these cases aren’t about money do not square with the facts in at least two of these cases. It is incredibly irresponsible to continue to make these types of false allegations in this avalanche of anonymous lawsuits, particularly while we are still trying to find out who the accusers are. We will address these issues, and others raised in these cases, in our formal response to the court in the coming weeks.”
Watson has been accused of sexual assault and other misconduct in the lawsuits.