Tony Buzbee and his clients are not backing down.
Last week, two Harris County District Court judges ordered Houston attorney Tony Buzbee to re-file the civil lawsuits that allege sexual assault and harassment against quarterback Deshaun Watson with the names of the accusers made public.
Buzbee sent out a statement on Tuesday saying how he wanted to identify the plaintiffs to Watson’s team, but them secret from the public, to which they refused to do so in an effort to try and scare some of them away from the case.
Here’s the full statement:
“We previously attempted to make available to Defense Counsel the names of the plaintiffs suing Deshaun Watson, and intended to do so in due course. We were concerned about the safety of these plaintiffs, and asked the Watson team to agree to a protective order where the identities could be used in litigation, but not broadcast to the world.
The Watson team refused our offer of compromise, and instead insisted that we amend our petitions to name these women. It appears the Watson team thinks that if these courageous women are forced to identify themselves, they would slink away and not pursue this matter. Watson and his counsel badly miscalculated.
Due to the bravery of Ashley Solis to come forward publicly, and despite the death threats she has experienced, these women are now emboldened. Today we are amending our petitions to disclose the names of the victims, even those not currently subject to any court order. The message to Watson’s team from these brave women is: ‘be careful what you ask for.”
We would also add that, with regard to the new defense of “consent that was proffered at the Friday Watson team press conference, we must say: Mr. Watson may now claim he had consent to do what he did to these victims, but let’s be clear–in their minds he didn’t have consent, PERIOD.”
Hardin held a press conference Friday explaining why he and Watson had been silent.
“This has been incredible ordeal for Deshaun,” Hardin said in an opening statement. “We toyed with the idea of having him here today but ultimately decided against that because it served no purpose because it was not going allow him to answer any questions.”
“We don’t know the names of the people,” Hardin said. “We are not supposed to guess of who is accusing us of doing something.”
He did acknowledge that there were “consensual acts” between the quarterback and some of the 22 women who filed lawsuits.
“Were there sometimes consensual encounters? Yes,” Hardin said.
“In some of these massages there’s going to be no question. We’ve never run from it.”
“I’m not going to go into what it is or the nature or the numbers or with whom,” Hardin said about any consensual encounters between Watson and some of the plaintiffs. “But I think you can rightfully assume that. The question always that we have always been emphasizing: Never at any time, under any circumstances … did this young man ever engage in anything that was not mutually desired by the other party.”
Last week, Nike suspended their endorsement of Watson, while Beats by Dre, Reliant Energy and supermarket chain H-E-B have distanced themselves from him completely.
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