HOUSTON — Houston Attorney Tony Buzbee is representing more than 20 women who are suing Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson claiming he sexually assaulted them during massages.
Buzbee revealed details of a deposition in a news release which includes excerpts of testimony from a woman who allegedly worked closely with the Texans.
"The information we received is very disturbing,” KHOU legal analyst and attorney Carmen Roe said.
According to the material Buzbee provided, the woman pleaded the fifth against self-incrimination dozens of times to questions about setting up massages for Watson to others regarding supposed sexual proclivities.
One thing she did answer is that she’d known Texans players for a long time.
"There’s definitely some suggestion that the Texans management may have been aware of or complicit in some of these allegations," Roe said. "But, again, these are just questions from a lawyer and so it has to be tempered with that information. There’s no basis, in fact, that suggest that it’s true.”
Roe said she'd never release details of a deposition in an ongoing case. But Buzbee is known for being unconventional.
"Criminal cases and civil cases are a little different in that regard but I think it’s rare and it’s unusual because there are ethical obligations that attorneys have not to put things out into the media that may impact a jury down the road,” Roe said.
According to Buzbee, 13 of the 22 plaintiffs he represents have been questioned under oath by Watson’s legal team and Watson himself is scheduled for deposition late next month.
Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, did not want to comment on Buzbee’s latest move.
Chris Downey, who represents the witness who was questioned in the deposition, said he advised she plead the fifth because of an ongoing criminal investigation outside of civil proceedings.
Downey released this statement:
“The District Attorney’s Office is conducting a criminal investigation into Mr. Watson. We do not know the topics they are considering or the scope of their investigation. Until we do, it would be exceedingly reckless to be giving statements about our relationship with Mr. Watson. The United States Supreme Court has made it clear that 'one of the Fifth Amendment’s basic functions is to protect people who might otherwise be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances.' When a person asserts the Fifth, they must do so for the entire matter, or else they risk waiving the privilege. Unfortunately, they must then remain silent even when the question posed is wildly speculative or outrageous.”