Deshaun Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin held a news conference Friday afternoon to discuss a ruling by a pair of Texas judges who ordered several of the quarterback’s accusers to identify themselves, a move that Hardin says will allow him to properly clear his client's name.
Hardin says that of the 22 civil cases alleging sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions with the Houston Texans quarterback, 13 of them were ordered to identify themselves.
"The reason is we don’t know what happened for sure and you’ve heard me talk all along here about how in the world are we supposed to respond when we don’t know the names of the people," Hardin said.
He continued: "What we heard today in court, so far …. Uniformly in 13 of the cases filed against (Watson), two judges have said ‘You need to tell him. Tell them who you are.’"
Tony Buzbee, the attorney for the accusers, said during Friday’s hearing that nine of the women have agreed to identify themselves.
"Once we find out who the names are and once we find out we no longer have to worry about whether or not we’re guessing right about the right person, we’ll examine these allegations just like anybody else and just like I hope y’all will," Hardin said during the press conference. "I trust and hope that once y’all find out who the people are, you will do the same type of investigation of these cases that you’ve done of us."
Hardin again denied all the allegations leveled against Watson, although he did reveal that it will come out that the 25-year-old athlete did engage in "consensual encounters" with some.
"Our firm does not intend to come out and talk to y’all or the public or anybody else before we have a comfort level about what really happened and I am not about to accuse 22 women, we have now, of ill motive or lying or anything."
Watson is facing 22 lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct. Two women were unmasked this week. Ashley Solis talked at a press conference about Watson’s alleged actions. Another attorney read a letter from Lauren Baxley.