Deshaun Watson and his camp are fighting back.
Attorney Rusty Hardin has filed a motion to strike the complaint filed by one of his 22 accusers, with a requirement that the case be refiled in her real name.
Hardin criticized the women’s attorney for holding a “trial by press conference” and making it difficult for Watson to respond to the 22 separate accusations against him without knowing who filed suit.
“We have said this before and we want to say it again,” Hardin said, “Deshaun did not force, coerce or intimidate anyone to do anything against their will. When we asked Mr. Buzbee to identify his clients weeks ago, he refused and told us to file a motion.
Today we filed that motion. As discussed in our filing, Mr. Buzbee’s use of anonymous lawsuits violates Texas law and the basic concept of fairness. It is clear that, for Mr. Buzbee, this case has never been about seeking justice in a courtroom, but destroying Deshaun’s reputation to enhance his own public profile and enrich himself.
While I understand that anonymity often is used as a shield for victims, Mr. Buzbee is using it as a sword. While shielding his clients from public scrutiny, Mr. Buzbee continues to use their anonymous allegations to destroy Mr. Watson. This is simply not right. And we look forward to resolving these matters in court.”
The anonymous women allege that Watson assaulted or harassed them during sessions in 2020 and 2021 in Texas, California, Georgia or Arizona.
“Through the spectacle of the last few weeks, Mr. Watson has been unable to responsibly defend himself in the face of overwhelming national media coverage,” Hardin said in the filing for a special exception to the original petition. “Mr. Watson’s counsel cannot in good conscience publicly respond to the specific allegations being made because any response would be based on dangerous speculation about the identity of the accusers.”
The women are all officially listed as “Jane Doe” in court documents.