After Tuesday’s press conference, Rusty Hardin, a lawyer representing Watson, targeted Buzbee and Solis’ allegations. Hardin posted a series of emails suggesting that Buzbee “requested $ 100,000 in silent money on behalf of Ms. Solis to quietly settle the allegations the month before the first lawsuit was filed.” All of the accusers, according to the lawsuits, filed claims seeking “minimum compensatory damages.”
In a February email, Scott Gaffield, general counsel for Athletes First, the agency that represents Watson, denied Buzbee’s claim on Solis’ behalf for $ 100,000 because “we don’t believe the alleged facts show that Deshaun did something wrong… ”
In addition to the 22 civil lawsuits, the case against Watson widened last week when the Houston Police Department admitted that it had started investigating Watson after a complaint was filed against him. Buzbee said Tuesday that at least one other person had also filed a complaint against Watson with the police. It is not known whether either person is also a plaintiff in the lawsuits against Watson in Harris County, Texas.
Nike reportedly suspended its endorsement deal with Watson on Wednesday after the press conference.
“We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and have suspended Deshaun Watson. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, ”the company said in a statement. There was no update on Watson’s deals with Rolex, Beats by Dre, and the Texas area companies.
With nearly two dozen complaints filed against Watson in less than a month, the legal machinations are only just beginning. The cases are now assigned to multiple judges for review, but it is unclear when or if they will be consolidated, which would streamline decisions on the anonymity of accusers, motions to dismiss, potential discovery and a myriad of other steps. that could lead to testing.
Other factors can shape the contours of the case, including any potential developments in police and NFL investigations, which have opened their own investigation and may suspend Watson while she examines the allegations against him. Although the charges were mounted in no time, the legal proceedings are at a very early stage, according to Stephanie Stradley, a Houston lawyer who writes frequently on legal matters involving the Texans and the NFL.