Deshaun Watson's attorney says 18 professional female massage therapists are going to bat for the QB -- saying they had nothing but positive experiences with him over the years.
Rusty Hardin says the women all worked with the Houston Texans QB at some point over the past 5 years -- completing more than 130 sessions without any sort of incident.
Hardin issued a statement saying, "These women say they are deeply troubled by the accusations made against Deshaun and that these claims are wholly inconsistent with their experiences with him and who they believe him to be."
"All of them stated that Deshaun never made them feel uncomfortable or demanded anything outside the scope of a professional massage."
"None of them experienced any of the behavior alleged by anonymous plaintiffs in the numerous lawsuits filed by the same Houston attorney."
Hardin says the 18 women he's been in contact with agreed to issue on-the-record statements supporting Watson.
"These statements show the other side to this story that has been so lacking in the flurry of anonymous complaints filed by opposing counsel.," Hardin says.
The first masseuse is Myah Roberson -- described as "a licensed massage therapist, who has been working in Houston for 10 years, primarily on athletes."
"I started working with Deshaun in December 2019 after being referred to him by another therapist. He sent me a screenshot of a diagram that the head trainer of the Texans gave him, highlighting the muscles that needed to be worked on, which included the groin and hamstrings. He asked if I felt comfortable working on those areas and I said yes, because I am used to working on athletes."
"During the massage, Deshaun was more comfortable using a towel than draping sheets over the table; this isn’t unusual at all. I have several clients that prefer using a towel over sheet. We began using a towel, and that became the norm. When I saw that the first lawsuit mentioned a towel, I chuckled because I gave him that idea. And it’s not inappropriate because they teach you in massage school that using a towel is okay. Some of these accusations are so ludicrous. I just can’t see him doing any of those things. He was never inappropriate with me. I never felt threatened in any way."
Most of the statements from the other 17 share similar experiences --Watson is described as a "professional and polite" client who's been "respectful."
Multiple therapists also point out that sometimes male clients will become aroused during a treatment -- but they're trained on how to handle that situation appropriately.
Norma Reyna -- described as board-certified in therapeutic massage and body work -- put it this way:
"When working the adductors and groin/pelvic area, it is not uncommon to accidentally graze the penis, but you don’t engage it. I teach my students to use a firmer touch or to move to a different area if a client gets aroused during a session, which sometimes happens."
Reyna did NOT say if that ever happened with Watson -- she was speaking in generalities.
As we previously reported, 21 women have filed lawsuits against Watson accusing the QB of sexual misconduct. All of the accusers have used a pseudonym to protect their identity.
Watson has denied any wrongdoing and claimed the accusers are liars looking to publicly shame him into a payout.
Story developing ...
Deshaun Watson's alleged sexual misconduct against female masseuses now spans over FOUR states ... a new accuser in Arizona is claiming the NFL star was inappropriate with her during a session in 2020.
The woman -- using the pseudonym "Jane Doe" -- spelled out her accusations in a new lawsuit filed against the Texans QB late Tuesday ... claiming Watson has "a disturbing pattern of preying on vulnerable women."
In the suit -- which is now the 21st levied against Watson in the last two weeks -- the woman says Deshaun reached out to her over Instagram in July 2020.
Doe says the two eventually agreed to a Swedish massage in Scottsdale, but she claims just minutes into the session ... Watson became inappropriate.
In the suit, the woman says Watson asked her to massage him in a sexual way ... and after she declined his advances -- she says the quarterback put an end to the session.
The woman claims she felt "extremely uncomfortable and intimidated" by Watson ... and also felt "violated, degraded and disgusted."
In her suit, Doe is suing Watson for unspecified damages.
Watson has now been accused by female massage therapists of inappropriate behavior in Georgia, Texas, California and Arizona.
And, the attorney representing the accusers, Tony Buzbee, has intimated more suits could be on the way.
For his part, Deshaun has denied any wrongdoing ... with his attorney, Rusty Hardin, saying earlier this month, "I believe that any allegation that Deshaun forced a woman to commit a sexual act is completely false."
IT'S A WRAP FOR THE GAP ... at least, temporarily.
Michael Strahan underwent a procedure to close the iconic gap between his two front teeth and he looks great!
Strahan teamed up with Dr. Lee Gause at Smile Design Manhattan -- and explained he wanted to explore what he would look like without the famous space in his megawatt smile.
Long story short ... Strahan says if he would have discussed closing the gap with anyone in his life -- from friends to business associates and people online -- they would have tried to talk him out of it.
But, we're told the dentist proposed a temporary solution -- essentially a removable dental piece that gives the look of a filled-in tooth line.
After the procedure, the 49-year-old NFL legend and beloved TV host looked in the mirror and declared, "I love it! Holy f**k!"
Yes, we notice the timing of the dental work ... April 1 is right around the corner -- but we'll see if Strahan sticks with the new look.
Obviously, Strahan's gap was iconic -- and he's talked about it for years ... explaining his parents told him to embrace the look.
He previously put it this way ... "I made the conscious effort to say, 'This is who I am.'"
In fact, just days before the big reveal, Strahan tweeted -- "I rock my gap with pride! It’s who I am!"
But hey, people can change, right?
BIG MAN CARTWHEELS COMING IN HOT!!!!
Alabama star QB Mac Jones had a Pro Day interview interrupted by one of the guys who used to block for him -- and it was HILARIOUS!!!
The flipping OL was Landon Dickerson -- who despite tearing his ACL just a few months ago, showed off some incredible athleticism whiles Jones was chatting with the SEC Network on Tuesday.
The Tide center cartwheeled at least 5 times ... and when Jones finally noticed -- the expected first-round pick in next month's NFL draft started cracking up!!
Landon even capped off the awesome flips with a funny wave ... and it all had Jones ROLLING!!
Of course, the guys were all smiles for good reason ... Bama's second Pro Day of the year went off without a hitch -- with the Tide stars showing out for a bunch of NFL head coaches, including Bill Belichick, Sean Payton and Kyle Shanahan.
Jones dropped several dimes to Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith ... while star 'Bama running back Najee Harris did some drills for scouts as well.
Seems Dickerson's cartwheels, though, will go down as the most impressive feat of the day ... 'cause how can you not draft a 6'6", 325-pound guy that can do THAT!?!
Bruce Arians' momma clearly didn't raise a quitter ... 'cause the Bucs coach stuck to his word this month and got a HUGE tattoo to commemorate Tampa Bay's Super Bowl win!!!
The 68-year-old head coach had promised to get the ink if his team scored the victory over the Chiefs ... and just a few weeks after the Bucs' big win, Arians went under the needle.
The tat is big as hell ... it appears to be centered up on the top of his left shoulder blade -- and it's AWESOME.
The piece features the SB LV emblem, the 31-9 score of the Bucs-Chiefs game, and it also has the Buccaneers' logos.
"I’m a man of my word," Arians said, revealing the art on Tuesday. "'When we win the Super Bowl, I will get a tattoo' well I got mine and I love it!!"
Tom Brady still doesn't have his (at least, we don't think so!) ... but if Arians of all people got it done -- maybe the GOAT will consider it?!?!
Nick Caserio -- the Houston Texans new GM -- is finally weighing in on the Deshaun Watson sexual misconduct allegations ... and he's making it clear, if they're true, his team won't stand for it.
"The allegations, what’s been discussed, are certainly troubling," Caserio said on the team's "Texans All Access" podcast this week.
"Organizationally that’s not something that we can condone, those types of actions."
Caserio was careful with his words and was obviously not trying to insinuate Watson is either guilty or innocent -- but made it clear if there's any truth to the allegations, the team will be compelled to take some sort of action.
Caserio, though, insists his team will let the case play out in the courts before making any decisions on Watson's future ... explaining, "It’s a legal process so we’re certainly respectful of that."
Nineteen female masseuses have filed lawsuits against Watson ... alleging the Houston quarterback was sexually inappropriate with them during massage sessions.
And, Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing the women -- all using the pseudonyms "Jane Doe" to protect their identities -- says there's AT LEAST one more lawsuit coming this week as well.
Watson -- who had demanded a trade before the allegations hit the court system -- has denied any wrongdoing ... claiming he's the victim of an attempted shakedown.
Deshaun's attorney, Rusty Hardin, has backed the NFL star ... saying in a statement earlier this month, "I believe that any allegation that Deshaun forced a woman to commit a sexual act is completely false."
The Texans -- who had insisted prior to the lawsuits that they were NOT trading Watson -- have yet to make any sort of suspension or administrative leave decisions regarding the quarterback.
A 74-year-old grandmother says Derrius Guice sexually harassed her at the Superdome back in 2017 ... and she says the ex-LSU superstar was so vile, she's still "scarred" by the run-in.
Gloria Scott explained the encounter to lawmakers during her testimony in front of the Louisiana Senate Select Committee on Women and Children on Friday ... and she got emotional bringing up the memory.
"I had to come here today and let you all know that LSU hides a lot of things... This didn't happen on the campus, but still it scarred me."— WBRZ News (@WBRZ) March 26, 2021 @WBRZ
Gloria Scott, 74, held back tears as she told lawmakers about her run-in with Derrius Guice while she worked security at the Superdome. pic.twitter.com/eNmGgc5pRA
Scott -- choking back tears -- said while she was performing her security job at a Dec. 9, 2017 H.S. game at the Superdome, Guice came up to her and grabbed at his genitals.
Scott says Guice then asked her if she wanted to have sex with him ... even telling her they should "go off and do it."
Scott says she scolded the running back over the nasty gestures and comments ... but she claims Guice just laughed and eventually left.
Scott says she reported the incident to her supervisors, and the complaint ultimately made its way to LSU's coaching staff.
In fact, Scott claims she even had a conversation with Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron over it.
But, Scott says she believes Orgeron and LSU did nothing to punish Guice for his actions.
For Orgeron's part, LSU has said the coach never directly spoke with Scott over the alleged incident.
Scott claims because she had complained about Guice ... she was actually moved from her normal security spot at H.S. games, saying her supervisors told her, "Well if they find out you're putting a charge on Derrius, the football players might have a reaction."
"I said, 'What do you mean a reaction toward me?'" Scott said. "'I'm the victim.'"
Scott told the lawmakers Friday the whole ordeal was horrifying for her ... and she wants LSU to recognize the issues it's had in the past with dealing with sexual misconduct claims and fix them going forward.
"It's something so pitiful," Scott said. "You're messing with a woman that's a grandmother and a great-grandmother. Just horrible."
San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Kevin Givens has been hit with an assault charge after he allegedly beat the hell out of a man at a Maryland hotel ... TMZ Sports has learned.
According to court documents, 24-year-old Givens was charged with misdemeanor second-degree assault after Hayden Bosley said he was attacked by the NFL player on Feb. 21.
In the docs, Bosley says he was out for the night in Baltimore when he had a confrontation with Givens.
Bosley says he, Givens' girlfriend and another friend were grabbing an Uber/Lyft when they asked Givens if he was tagging along for the ride.
In the docs, Bosley says Givens got angry and told him to go away ... so he left with the other two for a Sheraton Hotel in the area.
That's when Bosley says Givens showed up a short time later, saw the three standing in a hotel hallway ... and attacked.
Bosley claims Givens tackled him to the ground, dislocated his shoulder and continued to wrestle with him.
Bosley says he was able to escape and run away ... but claims he ended up suffering a black eye, bruises, cuts and scrapes in addition to the shoulder injury in the altercation.
Bosley says he went to the emergency room, where he got treatment from medical personnel from 3 AM to 7 AM.
Givens is now due in court later next month to face the charge. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 10 YEARS in prison.
We've reached out to Givens for comment, but so far, no word back yet.
.@PennStateFball DL Kevin Givens's first run was 5.09, but in his second unofficial run he marked a 4.87 with a mind-boggling 1.59 split.— Dion Caputi (@nfldraftupdate) March 3, 2019 @nfldraftupdate
For comparison, Aaron Donald's best Combine split was 1.63. Speaks to world-class strength and conditioning program at PSU.#NFLCombine pic.twitter.com/WnrZMmU7sE
Givens signed with the Niners as an undrafted free agent out of Penn State in 2019. He played in just 1 game in his rookie season ... but went on to play in 13 last year.
In his two-year career with the 49ers, Givens has 1 sack and 20 combined tackles.
Bring on the picks and leave the masks ... the NFL says if teams' draft war rooms next month feature fully vaccinated individuals, it will lax COVID policies and not require face coverings.
The league made the announcement to its clubs in a one-page memo Thursday ... explaining teams can have quasi-normal draft day procedures if all participating members can prove they've taken the COVID vaccine.
NFL officials say draft-night changes for vaccinated teams' war rooms include no mask requirement and flexible physical and social distancing rules.
The league also says it will allow both eating and drinking as well.
But, there will be some precautions for the draft weekend -- which is set to kick off April 29 -- even for those vaccinated teams.
The league says fully vaccinated rooms are to be capped off at 10 staffers.
If not vaccinated, teams will have to adhere to strict COVID policies ... with masks, social distancing and a cap of 20 per room.
The draft -- which was held virtually in 2020 due to the pandemic -- is scheduled to occur in downtown Cleveland this year.
The man who knocked out Eagles TE Dallas Goedert last year is breathing easier today ... he was just sentenced for the punch, but received nothing more than a slap on the wrist.
A South Dakota court official tells TMZ Sports ... Kyle Hadala -- the 30-year-old who rocked Goedert's face at a bar in June 2020 -- pled guilty to misdemeanor simple assault earlier this month and was sentenced that same day.
His punishment, though, was light -- considering he was facing up to 1 year in jail and a potential $2,000 fine.
According to the court official, Hadala was sentenced to 60 days in jail ... but if he keeps his nose clean for the next year, he won't have to spend a single day behind bars.
We're told Hadala also had to pay court costs and fines that totaled $336.50. He was ordered to have no contact with Goedert for 1 year as well.
Sources close to Dallas -- who had to go to the hospital after the punch but was NOT seriously hurt -- tell us the 26-year-old was simply trying to play peacemaker before he was KO'd.
Goedert ended up putting the situation behind him months later during the 2020 season ... playing in 11 games and recording 524 receiving yards and 3 TDs.
Johnny Manziel may have never become Johnny Football if it weren't for his 2012 arrest ... 'cause the former superstar says his grueling punishment after getting in trouble led to his Heisman-winning season.
Manziel was arrested for disorderly conduct and having a fake ID after getting in a fight at College Station on June 29, 2012 ... months before his breakout redshirt freshman season at Texas A&M.
28-year-old Manziel is now opening up on the fallout from his wild night of Irish car bombs and Patron ... saying he was forced to run gassers before and after every Aggies football practice as punishment -- which ended up being the ultimate blessing in disguise for a guy that was 4th on the depth chart at the time.
"In 11 days, I won the (starting) job doing these sprints, doing the whole thing," Manziel said on his "Ball Don't Lie" podcast with Mike.
"At the end of the year, I rushed for 1,500 yards. I outrushed Todd Gurley in the SEC. Nuts. My redshirt freshman year, the year I won the Heisman."
"I believe all that was directly correlated to me running those sprints at the beginning of the year and being in the dumbest shape on the team."
In other words, Johnny says if he hadn't gotten in trouble, his whole career would have played out completely differently.
"Without a doubt. I got punished and I won a Heisman for it. It's crazy. The bad doesn't always turn out so bad down the line."
Manziel became the first freshman to ever win the Heisman in 2012 ... but says he could have won ANOTHER if he had put in the work -- and it's his biggest regret.
"I think every day if I would of done what I need to do in between seasons, not only would I of won another Heisman, I would of put my team in a position to win a national championship."
He added ... "I wasn't voted team captain after winning the Heisman because I didn't show up to workouts, I didn't do what I need to do and I wasn't accountable to guys on my team."
"It's something I'll probably never get over."
A high school football coach in Massachusetts has just been fired ... after investigators say they confirmed he used anti-Semitic play calls during a game this month.
Officials involved in the case at Duxbury HS say head man Dave Maimaron used terms such as "Auschwitz," "rabbi" and "dreidel" to describe plays for his players in a tilt with Plymouth North on March 12.
And, after days of parents, fans and civil rights leaders calling for action ... the school finally made the move to can the coach Wednesday, blasting him for the naming of the calls.
"The fact that members of our school community used such offensive language, including anti-Semitic language, is horrifying and disappointing," Duxbury HS officials said in a statement.
Officials added they did not believe the terms were directed at players or used to insult opponents ... but said, "The outrage is real, warranted, and we hear it."
The school announced it's cancelling its game against Hingham on Friday after cutting ties with the coach. It has yet to make a decision on its future schedule past that.
For his part, Maimaron released an apology in a statement earlier this week ... saying the anti-Semitic words were "careless, unnecessary and most importantly hurtful on its face -- inexcusable."
"On behalf of the staff and players of the Duxbury High School football team," the coach added, "I want to extend my apology for the insensitive, crass and inappropriate language used in the game on March 12th."
Duxbury -- which had been playing its football season this spring after the pandemic postponed its usual fall season -- is known as one of the better football programs in MA. The school has won five state titles in the last 16 years.
It's unclear who will take over the program in the wake of Maimaron's firing.
10:43 AM PT -- A rep for the Costa Mesa Police Department tells TMZ Sports cops have launched an investigation into the fight.
Pittsburgh Steelers star WR Chase Claypool was involved in a late-night bar fight in Southern California … and TMZ Sports has the footage.
The 22-year-old -- who just wrapped up a sensational rookie campaign for the Steelers -- was at the Wild Goose Tavern in Costa Mesa, CA with some friends on March 13 when things popped off with another group of patrons.
Sources tell us there was an issue involving someone throwing dollar bills at a woman inside the bar, which sparked an argument … and eventually, things moved outside.
We’re told Chase was NOT an instigator -- but as you can see in the video, things started to get out of control and Chase jumped into the action to help out one of his buddies.
At one point, the 6’4”, 238-pound NFL star gets in the middle of the action -- where one of the combatants was wrestling on the ground -- and Claypool delivers a swift kick to the face.
Eventually, Chase’s pals remove him from the fracas -- while people yelled at him to stand back and keep his distance.
We’re told both parties ultimately left the scene without further incident.
The Costa Mesa Police confirm they received a call for a fight at that location but when officers arrived, security told them the parties involved had already left. Nobody has been arrested or charged with a crime.
Unclear if the guy who got kicked plans on taking action -- but people close to Chase tell us he was just trying to protect his friend in a chaotic situation, like anyone would do.
We reached out to Claypool for comment, but so far, nothing back.
Claypool was a 2nd-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft after a stellar career at Notre Dame.
He played in all 16 games for the Steelers as a rookie -- logging 62 catches for 873 yards and 11 total TDs.
Originally Published -- 12:20 AM PT
New England Patriots offensive lineman Justin Herron was heralded as a hero Wednesday ... after cops say he helped stop a sexual assault at a park in Arizona over the weekend.
The story is terrifying ... Herron says he was walking around Kiwanis Park at 11 AM on Saturday in Tempe -- when all of a sudden, he heard screams coming from the middle of a field.
Herron says as he approached the scene ... he saw a man on top of a woman -- and acted quickly.
"I just knew that in that moment I had to go and had to put a stop to it," 25-year-old Herron said.
The 6-foot-5, 305-pound lineman -- who was in Arizona training after wrapping up his rookie season -- says he screamed at the man to get off, before he physically pulled the guy away from the woman.
"Then I told him to sit down," said Herron, who cops say was also joined by another good Samaritan, Murry Rogers, in putting a stop to the alleged crime. "And, he just sat down and waited."
Cops say when they arrived on the scene, they identified the suspect as 30-year-old Kevin Caballero.
The victim, police say, was a 71-year-old who Caballero had pushed to the ground and attempted to sexually assault.
Cops awarded both Herron and Rogers Outstanding Service Awards for their actions ... and Rogers said the alleged victim called the two men "her angels."
Herron played in 12 games for the Patriots last season ... starting six. He was picked in the sixth round of last year's NFL draft out of Wake Forest.
Brett Favre says his rock-bottom moment came right after winning the Super Bowl in 1997 ... admitting his addiction to painkillers nearly cost him his life.
The NFL Hall of Famer opened up on his battle with pills on "Bolling With Favre" on PodcastOne with guest Dr. Phil this week ... saying he first got addicted in 1994 after suffering an injury.
Favre started taking 2 pills a day ... which led to teammates helping get him more and more painkillers "to a point where I was basically taking in 2 days, a month's prescription, which is crazy."
Favre says he even suffered 2 seizures due to complications from his increased pill intake in 1995, which forced him to come clean with his addiction.
Despite a 75-day stint in rehab, Favre's addiction didn't end until after winning 3-straight MVP awards AND the Super Bowl in 1997 ... when he "was as low as I could possibly be."
That's the moment he knew he had to kick his addiction for good, saying "I said it's one of two things -- I die, or I flush these pills down the toilet."
"I sat by the toilet for two hours," Favre said. "Eventually, I dumped the pills in the toilet, flushed them and I almost wanted to kill myself because of doing that."
"I could not believe that I've actually done that and I was so mad at myself because now what was I gonna do?"
Favre says he spent the next few months trying to get over the "urge" to take pills ... and thankfully, slowly beat the addiction.
Russell Wilson got to enjoy some sports from the stands for once on Tuesday ... hitting up the Stanford vs. Oklahoma State game in the NCAA women's tourney to watch his sister, Anna, ball out!!
Of course, Russ ain't the only star athlete in the Wilson fam -- 23-year-old Anna is a 5th-year senior for the #1 Cardinal ... and she put her skills on display in front of her Super Bowl-winning bro as her team punched their tickets to the Sweet 16!!
Wilson ended up going 4-5 from the field with 11 points in the 73-62 win over the #8 Cowgirls ... and you can tell big bro loved every second of it.
In fact, Russ fanboyed out during the starting lineup announcement ... documenting the whole thing on his IG story, cheering Stanford on from the crowd and tweeting his excitement for his sister's team.
"SWEET 16!!! Let’s Go @StanfordWBB," Wilson tweeted Tuesday night.
But, don't worry, Seahawks fans -- Russ was masked up (with a covering that featured his own signature logo) and social distanced ... so the guy was being safe.
The Cardinal will now face their next opponent on Saturday ... and we know Russ can't wait.