Tony Buzbee, the “fire-breathing” Texas lawyer who as of Wednesday morning has filed 21 lawsuits accusing Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct, said during a March 19 press conference that his firm would present information to the Houston Police Department. He also said he had already been in touch with Houston PD, which the department said at the time was not the case.
Now Buzbee says he has no plans to work with Houston police because Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, has a son in the department.
“Our team has been roundly criticized because these numerous brave women haven’t filed formal criminal complaints with HPD (although we have provided info to other organizations,)” Buzbee wrote in an Instagram post Tuesday night.
“Here is my worry: When I ran for Houston mayor against the CURRENT mayor, I called for the resignation of the former police chief. I was thus reluctant initially in these important cases to provide info to HPD, at least while Art Acevedo was the Police Chief—even though my brother in law is a long-term HPD officer. Mr. Acevedo has now left Houston for Miami. Yet, I’ve since learned that my legal opponent, Mr. Hardin, has a son who is on of the exclusive Command Staff of HPD. I am not saying in any way that Deshaun Watson’s lawyer, Mr. Hardin, has a son who has a position that would compromise HPD and its investigation. I support his service, along with all Houston police officers—I think the rank and file know that. But, I am saying that me and my clients will go elsewhere to provide our evidence to investigative authorities. Stand by.”
Two more lawsuits were filed against the 25-year-old Watson Tuesday night, with the 21st suit alleging the NFL star’s “behavior became progressively worse” over four massage sessions from July to September 2020. The suit also accuses Watson of “coercing her to perform oral sex on him, and ejaculating on her.”
Watson, who has denied any wrongdoing, was also accused in that suit for the second time of having “unsent” Instagram messages as allegations of sexual assault have mounted.
“Like a lot of people, Deshaun regularly deletes past Instagram messages. That said, he has not deleted any messages since March 15th, the day before the first lawsuit was filed,” Hardin said Monday in a statement. “We categorically deny that he has reached out directly to his accusers in an attempt to settle these cases.”
Texans general manager Nick Caserio addressed the allegations against Watson on Tuesday’s episode of the “Texans All Access” podcast.
“We certainly take them very seriously. The allegations, what’s been discussed, are certainly troubling,” Caserio said. “Organizationally, that’s not something that we can condone.”