However, Hardin said that the FBI investigation started with a focus on whether one of Buzbee’s clients attempted to extort Watson. Hardin held the news conference Wednesday, he said, only to respond to his counterpart’s claims in an interview with the website League of Justice published the day before.
A spokeswoman for the FBI’s field office in Houston declined to confirm the existence of the investigations described by Hardin and Buzbee. Investigations by Houston police, in conjunction with the Harris County District Attorney’s office, are also ongoing, Hardin confirmed Wednesday.
“Going out and talking about this stuff does no one any good. I remain absolutely, irrevocably convinced Deshaun Watson did nothing illegal or improper, and I’m confident all of those investigations will show that,” Hardin said.
In lawsuits filed earlier this year, 22 women accused Watson of harassing and assaulting them during massages. The accusations against Watson in lawsuits include making inappropriate remarks, exposing himself and forcing his penis against women’s hands in an attempt to force them to gratify him sexually. Watson had denied all the allegations, and Hardin has said any sex acts that occurred between Watson and massage therapists were consensual.
The NFL is also investigating whether Watson violated the league’s personal conduct policy.