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A total of 10 women have now filed official complaints with the Houston police department against Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, told ESPN on Monday that two of the women who filed police complaints are not among the 22 women who have brought civil lawsuits against his client for allegedly sexually assaulting or engaging in sexually inappropriate behavior during massage sessions.
“There are a couple of women who we don’t know anything about,” Hardin told ESPN.
Depositions for the civil suits will begin in September, and Watson will not be deposed until February of next year, under an agreement between the two legal teams.
“As of today, almost half of these women have given sworn statements to the police, and almost half have spoken to the NFL’s investigative team. Both processes are very lengthy. We expect to provide further information to the NFL from all victims,” said Tony Buzbee, who represents the 22 women suing Watson.
NFL investigators have not yet interviewed Watson, which Hardin said is typical in ongoing criminal matters. Hardin said Watson and his legal team have fully cooperated with both Houston police and the Harris County District Attorney’s office, and intend to cooperate with the subsequent NFL investigation.
Hardin also said he intends to advise Watson not to sign any potential settlement that includes a confidentiality agreement.
“I do not want anybody to be saying that this guy paid off women to stay quiet and so, if there ever was a settlement of any kind, it would have to be public and therefore both sides, [Watson] and the women, would be able to say to the world at large whatever they wanted,” he told ESPN.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapaport reported Monday that the Texans have begun fielding trade offers for their franchise quarterback, who according to other reports showed up to training camp solely to avoid a $50,000 fine.
Watson requested a trade earlier this year, and would have to waive his no-trade clause in any potential deal.
Trade rumors began swirling around Watson months before his legal troubles emerged, and Hardin reiterated Monday that they continue despite looming litigation.
“Teams are ready to jump now if the Texans would trade with them, even while all this is pending,” Hardin said. “There’s no question that teams, numerous teams, are still interested. The ball is in the Texans’ court.”
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