Judge orders one accuser of Texans QB Watson to be ID’d

Juan A. Lozano Associated Press
Friday, April 9, 2021

HOUSTON (AP) — A judge on Friday ordered that the name of one of the 22 women who have filed lawsuits accusing Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual assault and harassment must be made public.

Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, has asked that all the women, who have sued under the name Jane Doe, be publicly identified so his client can “have a chance at properly defending himself.” Hardin has called the claims against Watson “meritless” and that the NFL player “did not force, coerce or intimidate anyone to do anything against their will.”

During a Zoom court hearing over one of the law suits, Hardin accused Tony Buzbee, the lawyer representing the 22 women, of using their anonymity to “kill the reputation of our client.”

“Mr. Buzbee, hiding behind this anonymity, has attempted to try this case in the court of public opinion rather than in a court of law ... Mr. Buzbee is wielding plaintiff’s anonymity as a sword instead of a shield,” Hardin said in court documents this week.

But Buzbee asked state District Judge Dedra Davis to keep the woman’s name private, arguing such actions are common in cases dealing with allegations of sexual assault. Buzbee also told Davis that another woman who decided earlier this week to be named publicly has already received death threats.

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