When Dabo Swinney first saw Deshaun Watson’s name associated with a sexual misconduct lawsuit in Houston, he was disappointed.
“It hurts. When it is somebody you know, and we all read things about people all the time, but when it is someone you have a personal relationship with and love and respect, it hurts,” the Clemson head coach said earlier this week on the Keyshawn, JWill and Zubin Show on ESPN Radio. “So, it is very disappointing to see his name in the paper and all of that stuff.”
Watson has been accused by 22 women for sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions. All 22 women are suing the former Clemson, now Houston Texans, quarterback in Houston. The case has been played out in the court of public opinion by both sides since it broke over a month ago, making headlines in both the sports and entertainment business, almost to that of a soap opera.
“I only know one Deshaun Watson, and that is the one that I have had experience with for many years now,” Swinney said. “That is all that I can go by is the Deshaun I know and the experience that I have had.
“Obviously, there is a legal process and all of that has to take its course and we will see. But I believe in Deshaun Watson and I know what he has told me. He has never lied to me before. I have to stand on that.”
This past Thursday a status hearing took place at the 113th district court in Houston concerning the 22 sexual assault lawsuits filed against Watson.
It was an eventful status hearing as 10 of the 22 women appeared at the hearing. Their lawyer, Tony Buzbee, said they wanted to attend the meeting because Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, accused them of lying earlier in the week.
However, Hardin did not back down. ESPN’s Sarah Barshop reported Hardin’s law firm still does not know who four of the women who filed lawsuits are because there are multiple people with the same name. Hardin asked the court for the social security and driver’s license numbers to confirm identities.
Buzbee fired back by saying Hardin is making evidence destruction allegations to get a headline. Buzbee says Watson has been unsending several of his Instagram messages to his accusers.
The judge said both sides have sent evidence preservation requests and the court will follow through with those requests.
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