Story at a glance
- At least 22 women have come forward with allegations and filed lawsuits against Watson, who’s accused of exposing himself to the women and forcing at least one to perform oral sex.
- Most of the accusers are professional massage therapists who claim the NFL star assaulted them or behaved inappropriately during massages.
- Watson has denied all the accusations.
Nike said Wednesday it has suspended its endorsement of Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson after more than 20 women have accused him of sexual assault and inappropriate conduct.
“We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and have suspended Deshaun Watson. We will continue to closely monitor the situation,” Nike said in a statement to Changing America.
CNBC also reported that Apple’s Beats by Dre brand terminated its endorsement deal with Watson but did not issue a statement.
At least 22 women have come forward with allegations and filed lawsuits against Watson, who’s accused of exposing himself to the women and forcing at least one to perform oral sex.
Most of the accusers are professional massage therapists who claim the NFL star assaulted them or behaved inappropriately during massages.
The first woman to file a lawsuit against Watson for sexual misconduct publicly identified herself Tuesday and filed a police report against him.
“I am survivor of assault and harassment. Deshaun Watson is my assaulter and my harasser, he assaulted me at my home doing what I love most, massage therapy,” Ashley Solis, a Houston massage therapist, said during a news conference.
“I can no longer practice the profession I love the most without shaking...I hope he knew how heartbreaking that is to me,” she said.
Solis claims Watson sexually assaulted her during a massage therapy session in March 2020.
Watson has denied all the accusations. Last week, Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin released a statement with messages of support from 18 different massage therapists who have worked with the NFL player.
“These women say they are deeply troubled by the accusations made against Deshaun and that these claims are wholly inconsistent with their experiences with him and who they believe him to be,” Hardin wrote.
On Friday, the Houston Police Department said it had opened a criminal investigation after a complaint was filed. The NFL opened its own investigation into the allegations while the Texans said last month the organization takes the accusations “seriously” and is awaiting the results of the NFL’s probe.
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