Sports

Deshaun Watson, accusers claim one another are destroying evidence

Six women walked into a courtroom Thursday accompanied by the legal team that has filed civil suit against Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson for sexual misconduct on the behalf of 22 plaintiffs.

Tony Buzbee, attorney for the plaintiffs, previously told media outlets that he expected 12 of the 22 women to appear at the status conference after hearing defense attorney Rusty Hardin question their allegations of Watson committing sexual harassment and sexual assault under the guise of a massage. Of the six women who showed up, the identity of one already was known.

“They are here because they’ve been called liars,” Buzbee said. “And they’re not liars.”

Hardin reportedly argued that he cannot identify four of Watson’s accusers because they have common names and asked a judge to compel Buzbee to reveal the last three digits of driver’s license and social security numbers to narrow the scope. Hardin claimed that identification is in accordance with the law, while Buzbee, according to Fox26 Houston, countered that it is unheard of to provide such personal information.

Both sides argued that the other is destroying evidence. Watson was accused of backtracking to unsend Instagram messages to his accusers and some of the plaintiffs were accused of making alterations, multiple reports indicated. A judge vowed to follow through on preservation requests filed by both sides to ensure evidence can be entered into discovery, according to Fox26.

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) on the bench before an NFL matchup.
Six Deshaun Watson accusers appeared in court on Thursday.
Getty Images

The two high-profile Texas attorneys also accused each other of using the media to undercut the judicial process by way of making evidentiary claims to create news headlines, per Yahoo Sports.

“There was nothing of substance done,” Hardin said before denying that Watson has destroyed evidence.

“I think the first amendment is a wonderful amendment and open courts are [too] — and everybody has the right to say whatever they want. I’ve never, ever experienced where six weeks after a lawsuit we still don’t know who all of [the accusers] are. In that sense, it’s unusual.”


nypost.com

New York Post

The New York Post is a daily tabloid newspaper in New York City. The Post also operates NYPost.com, the celebrity gossip site PageSix.com and the entertainment site Decider.com.

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