A recent report regarding one of the claims made against Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson cast significant doubt as to that specific allegation, and it sparked speculation that it was the first clear piece of evidence suggesting that the many lawsuits filed against Watson are part of a conspiracy and/or shakedown. Attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents the 24 women who have sued Watson, has responded to the report.
Here’s the key text from a stream of Thursday tweets from Josina Anderson of CBS Sports: “I’m told there’s a recording of an interview with the adult son of 1 of 12 women the NFL interviewed in the Deshaun Watson case — stating his mom initially was complimentary of Watson in their conversations after the massage, but later switched her account and tone after negative allegations surfaced about Watson. The son intimated his mother intended to reward his silence, per league source. There’s a feeling that the NFL was initially cagey about details they learned from the woman’s son — after only mentioning they interviewed him in their report. The son’s recording was later reviewed by Watson’s side revealing the aforementioned details — presumably illuminating why this particular accuser was not included with the 5 women the NFL ultimately focused on at the hearing.”
Buzbee says that this particular accuser isn’t one of his clients.
“It has been reported that twelve alleged victims spoke to the NFL,” Buzbee said in an email sent to PFT. “I have confirmed that ten of those women were my clients. None of my clients had a son questioned by the NFL. As I’ve said, there were several women who called my office wanting to sue Watson that I decided, based on my trial experience, not to represent. I know that at least one of those women, who I declined to represent, spoke to the NFL and also gave a statement to the police. I can only assume it was that woman who is the subject of the leak tweeted about by Ms. Anderson.”
It’s still unclear why the NFL didn’t speak to all of Buzbee’s clients, or how the NFL decided to whittle the 12 cases they investigated down to five that were presented at last week’s hearing. For now, the big takeaway is this — to the extent that some regarded Thursday’s report as the first tangible proof that the claims made by Buzbee’s clients are falling apart, the claim that was the subject of Thursday’s report wasn’t made by anyone he has agreed to represent. Indeed, it appears that Buzbee, after vetting her claims, decided not to proceed on her behalf.