A SECOND woman to go public with claims of sexual misconduct against Deshaun Watson said she "tried not be be sick" after the Texans quarterback told her grab his genitals during a massage last year.
Massage therapist Lauren Baxley – one of 22 women to file sexual misconduct claims against Watson in the past month – claims in court documents that the NFL star touched her inappropriately and exposed himself during a session in June.
Baxley's alleged encounter with Watson was shared in a letter read out by her attorney, Cornelia Brandfield-Harvey, during a press conference in Texas yesterday, amplifying claims from her lawsuit.
While Baxley didn't appear at the conference in person, another accuser, Ashley Solis, did – tearfully recounting similar allegations of inappropriate touching during an earlier encounter in March 2020.
Watson has denied that he has ever treated women with anything but the "utmost respect". His attorney said the quarterback has also "never forced a woman to commit a sexual act."
In Baxley's letter, she spoke of how she was "excited" to work with Watson when he first approached her through Instagram last year, but quickly their interactions turned "strange".
"When you requested a pre-consultation phone call, I was happy to oblige," Baxley wrote.
"You detailed a few items of concern … you made sure to use the words 'professional' and 'non-sexual', though I wondered a bit when you mentioned that it was 'difficult' to find a therapist who was 'comfortable' working with you."
Pondering what Watson's remarks meant, Baxley said: "If all you wanted was professional work then maybe other therapists were star-struck by your local celebrity. I couldn’t know at that point."
From there, the massage therapist claims Watson specified that he needed additional focus on his "glute area", which is typical of athletes in high-impact sports.
What was slightly unusual, Baxley however claimed, was Watson repeatedly expressing his "privacy concerns".
"You asked again if we had ‘privacy space’, I said yes. Then you asked if you could shower before your service. I found that a little strange, but if you were coming from a training session, not abnormal. I said you could shower beforehand," the letter read.
The pair agreed to meet on June 2. Baxley said Watson signed a consent form before the session, and she directed him to the massage table and left the room.
"[When] I entered the room, I was both shocked and sickened to find you completely nude face down. Your full rear was exposed, as was your scrotum," Baxley alleged.
"I quickly covered you with a hand towel as you tried to insist that you were both uncomfortable by the towel and you didn’t mind being exposed.
"I told you that I minded and as I attempted to start the session, you clearly directed me away from a therapeutic glute massage to your anus."
Baxley blasted Watson for allegedly crossing what she called "every boundary from therapeutic and profession to sexual and degrading".
She then continued by claiming Watson had instructed her not to use her forearms or knuckles, but "my fingers for digital stimulation".
Calling the request an "ethical violation of massage practise", Baxley said she compromised by using the lateral border of her hand.
"I didn’t want to touch you but terror kept me on auto-pilot," she wrote. "I continued to the best of my ability to give you therapeutic treatment, but clearly that wasn’t what you were seeking."
Baxley claims Watson then turned over onto his back, once again exposing himself but "this time your penis".
"When I covered your groin area the towel I provided, you said it was itchy and rough."
Baxley said she attempted to cover his genitals with a different towel, which she claims he later removed after becoming aroused as she was massaging his upper quad area.
"At such time, you moved in such a way that your penis touched my hand," she wrote.
Baxley claims Watson then told her to "just grab it", meaning his penis, if it was in her way.
"This happened multiple times – and the remainder of the session was spent trying not to be sick, to not have an outburst, and to keep you covered," she alleged.
During the remainder of the session, Baxley said she felt "powerless and trapped", thinking of Watson's millions of fans, followers and his resources and income, and how "with a snap of [his] fingers, I knew my career might be lost."
In the months since the alleged encounter on June 2, Baxley said she has been angry at Watson for a number of reasons.
"I’m furious that the talented and hard working young black man that gave so many children inspiration is nothing more than a predator with power," she wrote.
She added that she was also heartbroken for his family and legions of fans after learning that his "good guy persona is nothing more than a meticulously designed facade to keep your victims silent and second guessing themselves."
Baxley's letter followed on from a tearful statement delivered by fellow massage therapist Ashley Solis, who recalled the "terrible things" Watson is capable of after he allegedly "assaulted her" .
While Solis didn't didn't specifically link herself to any of the 22 lawsuits previously filed against Watson, Solis claims Watson made lewd advances toward her at her home office on March 30 of last year.
That seems to match the details of a lawsuit filed last month that details a massage at the plaintiff's home, where the victim broke down in tears, alleging that Watson exposed himself and touched her hand "with the tip of his erect penis."
The suit alleges that as the victim was crying, Watson told her: "I know you have a career and a reputation and I know you would hate for someone to mess with yours just like I don't want anyone messing with mine."
Solis claims she now can’t touch a patient without shaking, and revealed that images of Watson flash across her mind during sessions with other patients.
"I am survivor of assault and harassment, Deshaun Watson is my assaulter and my harasser," Solis said, adding that she has struggled through panic attacks, anxiety, depression.
"I replay the incident over and over in my head as if I'm trying to wake up for some horrible nightmare — only that nightmare is real."
Watson’s lawyer Rusty Hardin claimed in a statement after Solis' press conference on Tuesday that her attorney, Tony Buzbee, "sought $100,000 in hush money on behalf of Ms. Solis to quietly settle the allegations a month before he filed the first lawsuit."
He claimed that there is evidence of email exhanges to confirm this request made to Scott Gaffield, the General Counsel at the Atheles First agency representing Watson.
"We did not think that the facts showed that Deshaun did anything wrong with their client," Gaffield said in a statement.
"We believed then – and fully believe now – that Deshaun learned a lesson about putting himself in this type of situation by interacting with people he does not know.
Last week, the Texans star also issued a statement from 18 female massage therapists which claimed that he has never placed them in an uncomfortable position and is a respectful client.
All of Watson's accusers apart from Solis and Baxley continue to use an alias.
Attorney Buzbee said Solis and another accuser have spoken to the police but did not confirm what agency.
He claimed that some of the women were asked to sign an NDA before or after meeting the NFL star.
Houston PD has confirmed that an investigation is underway but no charges have been filed.
Watson's lawyer, Rusty Hardin, issued a statement March 23 denying the accusations.
"Any allegation that Deshaun forced a woman to commit a sexual act is completely false," Hardin said.
Hardin also said Watson and his representatives "will fully cooperate with the Houston Police Department" as part of any criminal investigation.
A request for comment from Watson's agent on Solis and Baxley's claims has not yet been returned.
In a recent statement, the NFL called the claims against Watson "deeply disturbing".
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