HOUSTON, Texas (WJW) – The attorney representing Deshaun Watson is asking a Texas judge to sanction a lawyer who recently filed a lawsuit against the Cleveland Browns quarterback on behalf of a woman who claimed sexual misconduct during a massage session.
“This is a false lawsuit and we are asking for sanctions,” Attorney Rusty Hardin told the FOX 8 I-Team on Tuesday. “The lawsuit is a complete sham.”
Hardin filed a motion in Harris County District Court this week seeking monetary damages against the attorney. It is not known when a judge will rule.
Attorney Anissah Nguyen, with the Universal Law Group, filed the case Oct. 13 and kept the name of the woman secret. Then, Watson’s lawyers got a court order to make the name public.
“Mr. Watson is only asking this court to sanction ULG in the amount of $5,000—less than one-third of the total fees and expenses he was forced to incur,” the motion states. “Thus, $5,000 is the starting point in assessing an appropriate monetary sanction against ULG.”
The I-Team reached out to Nguyen Tuesday to discuss the recent motion but have not yet heard back.
Last week, the I-Team revealed that police have known about this woman for a long time.
“Everybody has known about this woman since April 2021,“ Hardin said.
The I-Team went back through what a Houston police detective said during a court deposition.
The detective said she thought Watson should face criminal charges. But, she also had doubts about getting an indictment on two cases, including the woman behind the new lawsuit just filed.
According to the motion, the woman who recently filed suit sent more than “35 messages “ to Watson after the massage. Watson did not return any of the messages, Hardin stated.
The motion further states the woman spoke to Watson’s attorneys last November and said she was not scared or intimated and didn’t do anything she didn’t want to do.
Hardin states the lawsuit was filed in bad faith and “for the purpose of harassing” Watson.
“Lawsuits without merit are a form of legal extortion. ULG knew—or should have known—
this case was a sham but filed it anyway,” the motion states. “ ULG filed this lawsuit anonymously to pressure Mr. Watson into a quick settlement. By refusing to provide Mr. Watson with the name of his accuser, ULG made it impossible for him to responsibly respond to her bogus allegations until the court forced her to comply with Texas law by revealing her identity.”
Watson does not face any criminal charges and has denied any wrongdoing.
Hardin added in the motion that NFL investigators were aware of the woman’s allegations and “chose not to base their findings on any of her uncredible contentions.”
Twenty-four other women filed lawsuits against Watson alleging sexual misconduct during massages. Twenty-three of those lawsuits have been settled.
Watson is currently serving an 11 game suspension after the league determined he violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy.