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The number of women suing NFL star Deshaun Watson for sexual assault grows to seven

Four new lawsuits have been filed against Houston Texans star quarterback Deshaun Watson alleging sexual assault.

The additional claims come from four women who say he contacted them for services like massage therapy.

That brings the total of lawsuits against the Pro Bowl quarterback to seven. They were filed in Harris County, Texas, this week by attorney Tony Buzbee, who is representing the seven women.

After the first suit was filed on Tuesday, Watson denied those allegations in a statement posted to Twitter.

Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, said Friday after the subsequent six lawsuits were filed that he is extremely proud to represent Watson and “wholly stand behind him against what we believe are meritless allegations.”

“However, we will wait to comment in detail until we’ve completed our review of the numerous, evolving allegations from Mr. Buzbee,” Hardin said. “We will respond next week and ask you to keep an open mind until we do so.”

Watson’s agent, David Mulugheta, posted a tweet on Friday saying, “Sexual assault is real. Victims should be heard, offenders prosecuted.” Mulugheta then warned of the existence of false allegations, a phenomenon that studies show is very rare.

The latest four lawsuits allege Watson “assaulted and harassed” the women. The four new lawsuits, filed Thursday, accuse Watson of assault and harassment, while two say that he tried to kiss them.

One of the lawsuits alleges Watson sexually assaulted the plaintiff on multiple occasions.

CNN contacted the Houston Police Department and asked whether the agency is investigating the claims but was received a “no comment.”

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office told CNN on Thursday it had not opened any investigations into Watson, according to Senior Deputy Thomas M. Gilliland.

During a news conference, Buzbee said he has been formally contacted by the Houston Police Department. “It is our intention for the clients that are willing to do so, to put together a package and to submit it to the Houston Police Department of the information that we have,” Buzbee said.

The Houston Texans issued a statement Thursday that said the NFL “informed us today that they will conduct an investigation into the allegations made in the civil lawsuits filed against Deshaun Watson.”

“We continue to take this and all matters involving anyone within the Houston Texans organization seriously,” the statement said. “We do not anticipate making any additional statements until the NFL’s investigation concludes.”

When asked if the league had opened an investigation, NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said, “The matter is under review of the personal conduct policy.”

Watson has played four seasons in Houston and has been selected for three Pro Bowls. According to the Spotrac website, he signed a four-year, $156 million contract in 2020.

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