Apr 6, 2021
Tony Buzbee Press Conference on Deshaun Watson Lawsuits Transcript April 6
Attorney Tony Buzbee held a press conference on April 6, 2021 to discuss the lawsuits and allegations of sexual misconduct against Deshaun Watson. Read the transcript of the full briefing here.
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Tony Buzbee: (00:00)
As well, but this is… Of course, many of you know, this is sexual assault awareness month. There has been proclamation from the white house about sexual assault and victims. I have with me, of course, some of my colleagues. I’ll have them introduce themselves, Maria.
Maria Holmes: (00:20)
Maria Elena Holmes.
Tony Buzbee: (00:21)
She is a lawyer here at the firm.
Crystal Del Toro: (00:23)
Crystal Del Toro.
Cornelia Brandfield-Harvey: (00:25)
Brittany Ifejika: (00:27)
Tony Buzbee: (00:29)
And there will be a few other individuals that we will introduce you to momentarily. But the first person, in fact, I believe, the most important person that I want to introduce you to is Ashley Solis. Ashley Solis is the reason we’re all here. Ashley Solis came to me and told me a very troubling story about Deshaun Watson.
Tony Buzbee: (00:56)
I spoke to her many different times. I discouraged her from coming forward. I discouraged her because I knew this would be the reaction. Ashley Solis is a very brave person. She’s very brave. She was the first individual who filed a lawsuit. It is because of her bravery that we are here. She has been a pioneer. You have heard from the Watson team that they want to know the identity of these victims, that maybe they don’t even exist, that we’ve been trying to hide their identity. Well, that is not true. I introduce you Ashley Solis. She will not be bullied and she has a statement she would like to read.
Ashley Solis: (01:46)
Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Ashley Solis. Remember that name. I hope every woman or man out there who was a survivor hears my story. And I hope my story gives them courage to speak out. It has taken me a long time to get to this point, to come up publicly and speak my truth. I know a lot of you are probably wondering who I was or if it even existed. I was afraid. I’m not afraid anymore and I do exist. I’m here to take back the power and take back control. I am a survivor of assault and harassment. Deshaun Watson is my assaulter and harasser.
Ashley Solis: (02:38)
Deshaun Watson assaulted and harassed me on a March 30th, 2020 in my own home, doing what I love most, massage therapy. I am a licensed massage therapist and now that profession that I love so much has been forever tainted. I’m deeply saddened, but not surprised to see so much victim blaming in the press and by online commentors. And they have absolutely no idea what I’m going through or what happened to me. No idea.
Ashley Solis: (03:19)
This incident has impacted me in many ways, and those ways are hard to describe. I feel a range of emotions, guilt, embarrassment, shame, courage, anger, sadness, and numbness. Some days I feel like a hero, and other days I feel like a failure. I replay the incident over and over in my head, as if I’m trying to wake up from some horrible nightmare, only that nightmare is real. I blame myself at times, which is insane. Society has groomed women to believe that it’s their fault when they’re harassed or assaulted, as if somehow we asked for it, or as if somehow we could have prevented it.
Ashley Solis: (04:14)
I can no longer practice the profession that I love the most without shaking during the session. My hands shake whenever I place them on client and I’ve had to cut the session short. If you only knew how heartbreaking that is to me. I got into massage therapy to heal people, to heal their minds and bodies, to bring peace to their souls, and Deshaun Watson has robbed me of that. He took that away from me. He tainted a profession in which I take enormous pride. Flashes of Watson’s face rush to me in the moment. I think of his penis touching me which sends me into a tailspin. I suffer from panic attacks, anxiety, and depression. I’m in counseling, as a result of Deshaun Watson’s actions. I hope he knows how much pain he’s inflicted on me, emotionally and physically. And I hope he knows how much pain he’s inflicted on these other survivors.
Ashley Solis: (05:35)
My father, who was once a diehard Texans fan, can no longer mention his name without turning red, seething with disappointment. I think that, that’s the most heartbreaking aspect of it all. We were all deceived into thinking Deshaun Watson was a good guy, and unfortunately, we know that good guys can do terrible things.
Ashley Solis: (05:57)
This incident is a part of me, but it’s not all of me. I will not let the Deshaun Watson define who I am. I will not let him win. He needs to be held accountable for his actions. I will not let him take my power away. I am stronger now and I know who I am. People say that I’m doing this just for money. That is false. I come forward now so that Deshaun Watson does not assault another woman. And I come forward now in the hopes that no other human being will assault another in the future. I want to prevent this type of conduct. I come forward now to bring change in our society. I am seeking justice, not just on behalf of myself, but for all survivors. I stand with you all. This is about having my voice heard, this is about having other survivors voice’s heard. My name is Ashley Solis and I am a survivor. Me too. Thank you.
Tony Buzbee: (07:06)
Thank you, Ashley. Ashley has provided a statement to the police, as have, at least, one other individual, perhaps more.
Tony Buzbee: (07:19)
I now want to introduce you to Rose Luna. I think Rose will probably sit there.
Speaker 1: (07:24)
Tony Buzbee: (07:24)
She is the CEO of the Texas Association against Sexual Assault. This organization is a unifying voice to eliminate sexual violence in Texas. There is a statewide coalition of survivors, advocates, rape crisis centers, and allied professionals committed to fostering a culture that respects the fundamental rights and dignity of all. Rose, thanks for being here.
Rose Luna: (07:46)
Speaker 2: (07:48)
Tony, can we move the mics over? Thank you.
Rose Luna: (07:53)
Thank you. And thank you for [crosstalk 00:07:54] telling your story being so brave. My name is Rosa Luna and I’m the CEO of the Texas association Against Sexual Assault. We are the statewide coalition committed to ending sexual violence here in our great state of Texas. Again, we’re a membership organization. We’re comprised of law enforcement agencies, rape crisis centers, and other allied professionals across the state. But most importantly, we’re comprised of a membership of sexual assault survivors.
Rose Luna: (08:19)
Why am I here? It’s simple. It’s to show solidarity and support for survivors of sexual assault, not only to the brave women who have disclosed has come forward in this particular situation, but equally as important for those survivors who are going to hear all of the messages as this grows bigger and bigger. They will be retraumatized as they’re subjected to the ongoing media coverage, the damning commentary, and inevitably, the bombardment of victim blaming responses. And that’s what usually happens with high profile cases.
Rose Luna: (08:49)
So I’m accustomed to these press conferences and the echo chambers of advocates and law enforcement officers. We’ve never had this many press at our press conference. And although we are accustomed to high profile cases, that’s nothing new, but this one’s a little different. This reaches a broader audience. This is an audience of sports fans. I myself, am a sports fan, and all who share a love for the game. So my ask is this, I ask that you will reserve judgment and consider the following: in Texas, one in five men and two in five women have been sexually assaulted at some point it’s in their lifetime. Over 90%, let me repeat that, over 90% did not report to law enforcement. This is not a law enforcement issue. Instead, this is an issue about how we respond to survivors when they come forward, as a society. We have a long way to go in that. They would rather stay silent than to come forward to those who are supposed to help them.
Rose Luna: (09:43)
Sexual assault false reports are extremely rare. They are the same though, as other felony crimes, but there is this misconception that a majority of those who come forward with sexual assault are lying. That is simply not true. Women of color are disproportionately affected by sexual violence and are less likely to disclose, as compared to their counterparts. And also, sexual assault cases in the criminal justice system just do not mix.
Rose Luna: (10:09)
So we have 90% of those who are sexually assaulted in Texas that do not report to law enforcement. And then… So that subset of victims who do report, less than 7% make it all the way through their criminal justice system. And most of those plead out. But society will conflate a lack of a criminal justice disposition on whether or not that happened. That is simply not true.
Rose Luna: (10:31)
So the focus must remain on the assault, rather than on the choices or anything about the survivors. Although the issue of sexual violence is serious and highly misunderstood, it is our hope that as more survivors speak up, their traumatic experience of sexual assault will not be trivialized, villainized, or minimized. I also want to recognize the Houston Area Women’s Center. They are located here in the great city of Houston. They do amazing work. They provide free and confidential counseling to survivors of…
Rose Luna: (11:03)
… They provide free and confidential counseling to survivors of sexual assault and I’d like to give that number if I could, please. If you are a sexual assault survivor in this city, please call 713-528-7273. There is also a live chat at HAWC.org, H-A-W-C.org to have anonymity and to chat and process what’s happening. There’s also if you’re not from Houston and you’re from across the state or across the country, there is a RAINN hotline, 1-800-656-HOPE. Thank you so much for your attention to this matter. Thank you.
Tony Buzbee: (11:38)
Thank you. Now I’m going to introduce you to Rachel Fischer. Rachel. Rachel is a registered nurse with a bachelor’s of science in nursing. She specializes in forensic nursing and has been board certified by the Commission for Forensic Nursing certification through the International Association of Forensic Nurses in adult and adolescent sexual assault, as well as pediatric sexual assault.
Tony Buzbee: (12:01)
She is an expert in the field of sexual assault and victim recovery as a legal advocate and an expert witness. She’s also very active in fighting against human trafficking and sexual assault and Forensic Nursing Consulting and Education LLC. Rachel.
Rachel Fischer: (12:16)
Thank you for having me here. As many of you know, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month so the timing of this is crucial. What I do for a career mainly is sexual assault nurse examinations and I’ve treated thousands of victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. And when they come to me to the hospital, they give me a medical history of what they’ve been through. They go through a vigorous exam, a rape kit at many times if it’s an acute exam. But they have to relive an experience, a traumatic experience that happened to them that they’re finally able to come out and talk about.
Rachel Fischer: (12:51)
And in each of those exams, each patient, each victim is individualized and everyone responds differently. We see patients in the acute phase within the first five days and we collect evidence, but we also see a lot of chronic sexual assault cases that are disclosed years after many times, but they finally just want that healing. So they come to us for that medical treatment that they deserve and a chance to finally tell their story. And in many times in these delayed outcry cases, we see especially in children, you see a child goes to school, somebody else tells their story and then they come home and they tell their story or they watch a video because there’s strength in numbers. When you’re sexually assaulted, you feel so alone.
Rachel Fischer: (13:38)
There’s been studies done on sexual assault survivors that don’t report for a variety of reasons. The first one being a fear of self-blame. They blame themselves for not being big enough, not being strong enough to stop it. When that traumatic event happens, they go into a traumatic neurobiological response of flight, fight or freeze, and many freeze. The traumatic event happens and there’s nothing they could have done about it, and they blame themselves for not being strong enough to stop it.
Rachel Fischer: (14:04)
And the second one is fear of retaliation from the community, from their families, from the abuser and fear for their safety of what if they do report and what if the criminal justice system does fail them? What if the perpetrator does not get prosecuted? Which unfortunately that happens in many of these cases. And that leaves them very afraid for what’s going to happen next. And those are many of the reasons that they don’t. So the moment in their life that they come to a spot where they feel that they’re not alone, that other people are in this fight with them and that what happened to them in that room where it’s just a he said, she said. All they feel is their own pain of what they experienced when they realize that they’re not alone in that and other people have experienced that too, they finally have the strength to come forward and say, “Me too.”
Rachel Fischer: (14:51)
And they’re not alone. They’re surrounded by support and a community. And that’s what we offer them. We offer them advocacy. We offer them places like the Houston Area Women’s Center, an advocate to come to the hospital to walk them through the process and to explain the court process to them. And many times they still don’t want to go through the court process because it’s scary. It’s expensive. There’s a lot of fees that they don’t have. It’s a long drawn out process to back to relive that over and over again. So the possibility of a civil case versus a criminal case, many choose to do civil because that gives them the autonomy, the power and control that was taken from them in that moment of their victimization. They now have the power and control back. They have their voice back and they have the autonomy to be in control of their own case to determine the outcome of what they want to happen specifically in their case that they have that power back. And that’s what we encourage victims to do is take back that power and control, take back that autonomy and to fight.
Rachel Fischer: (15:48)
And for any victim that’s out there, you’re not alone. There is support there’s communities out there to support you in this, whether you decide to go civil, criminal, whatever it is you decide to do or if you don’t decide to report, you’re not alone in it, but your pain is still valid. You know what happened. You had to live with that for the rest of your life, but you’re not alone in that. So keep fighting. Fight for you, fight for your healing and fight for justice.
Tony Buzbee: (16:15)
Thank you, Rachel. I want to now introduce you to Dr. Nissi Hamilton. Nissi is a survivor. She’s also a political activist. She’s an award-winning human trafficking expert, activist and survivor with five years of experience in multicultural background, committed to encouraging diversity and inclusion and making a difference.
Tony Buzbee: (16:38)
She’s a proud owner of a for-profit organization named A Survivor’s Voice of Victory. Her mission is to raise awareness in the communities and give young African-American women, girls, and women a safe space to practice reporting to lead them to safety. Nissi.
Nissi Hamilton: (16:54)
I would like to start off by honoring God for this press conference. And then I would like to say I want to honor Tony Buzbee for his heroism in human trafficking. Even as a leading expert I can tell you that demand suppression is important and he fights that. And that’s what I love about the Tony Buzbee Law Firm. That’s what I love about Cornelia. They fight. This is a fight.
Nissi Hamilton: (17:22)
Let me help you understand something about human trafficking for Houston. Since COVID the inception of it, 93% of sexual exportation has gone up just online alone. That means one in four girls and one in six boys will have been sexually exploited by the time that they’re 18-years-old. That’s just Houston. I can’t report statistics for other cities, but what I do know is just from the information I have alone, just from the testimonies alone from these 21 women, I am appalled. I am embarrassed for them. I am sick to my stomach that we are still allowing constructed prostitution, whether it’s public or private, prostitution is illegal. And we cannot allow these type of instances, whether it be a wealthy empire or not to continue in Houston.
Nissi Hamilton: (18:23)
Tony Buzbee is my own attorney and he’s also represented me in my own human trafficking case against some very elite trafficking groups. That was very hard. It was very difficult. I too stand with these women, I do too stand with Cornelia and the fight for their rights, the fight for their voice to be heard. We should not be hiring people to do one job only to allow them to come in and to practice something else other than. The penal code doesn’t allow it. Tony Buzbee doesn’t stand for it. Cornelia doesn’t stand for it. I as an expert in human trafficking, sexual assault and domestic violence do not stand for this.
Nissi Hamilton: (19:12)
I’m wondering if we as Americans in the city of Houston are going to stand for this and allow this type of sexual behavior, this type of sexual deviance to continue. My name is Dr. Nissi Hamilton. That is a street name of mine because the community respects that I have to be the eyes and the ears for the people who are not allowed to have the seat at the table whose voices can’t be heard because they are afraid.
Nissi Hamilton: (19:46)
I like what Rachel said. She is so spot on. This month is April. It is Child Abuse Awareness Month and we must be sensitive. Sensitive, not desensitized, sensitive to the area arena of the amount of sexual exploitation that goes on not just with our children, but with adult women. I don’t care if you come from a poor background and you’re pimping on a lower level, or if you come from a wealthy background and you’re pimping on a high level, on elite level. It’s not acceptable. That behavior is not acceptable.
Nissi Hamilton: (20:28)
I stand with this team. I stand with those 21 women who were victimized, who were afraid to come forward and explain themselves to tell you guys their stories. That means that they have to open their lives up to the world for a very long time and that’s no easy deficit. I love Tony and his work and I’m proud. I’m proud of these 21 women and I pray that you guys without judgment received their testimonies, receive them, receive the Tony Buzbee Law Firm, receive me as an expert and then witnessed to human trafficking and sexual assault. Thank you.
Tony Buzbee: (21:15)
Thank you. Now that you heard from some of the people involved, I want to give you an update on the case. 22 women have now filed suit against Deshaun Watson. The pleadings speak for themselves. We turned away approximately five women who we did not believe we could sustain a case for, but they were also massage therapists for Deshaun Watson. Each of the cases makes a describing or describes a strikingly similar pattern of behavior. Watson reaches out to women on social media, particularly Instagram. He asks for a massage, even though some of these women were not massage-
Tony Buzbee: (22:03)
… He asked for a massage even though some of these women were not massage therapists and were doing other types of work. But he specifically asked for a massage. And when they say, “I don’t do massages,” he asked him, “Well, can you do a massage?” Watson arranges the appointment on social media. Again, particularly Instagram. He repeatedly insists that the woman be alone, citing privacy concerns. And in some cases, he even dictates that what he wants the particular woman to wear. In some cases, he takes pictures of the particular woman from Instagram and sends it to her and says, wear something like this because it’s hot today, or it’s hot in Houston. He insists repeatedly even when told that it’s not normal to use a towel for cover. In most cases, he insists on bringing his own towel. What the towel is instead is a small washcloth.
Tony Buzbee: (22:59)
In some cases, he asked the woman to sign a nondisclosure agreement before the session. And in some cases, he asked the woman to sign the nondisclosure agreement after the session. Two of the women who have come forward reside in Georgia. One is from California, one is from Arizona and the rest are in the Houston area. At least two have made formal complaints with the Houston Police Department without my personal involvement, 15 are African-American women, four are white, three are Hispanic. The case is alleged either civil assault or intentional infliction of emotional distress or both. Most of the cases involve Watson exposing himself repeatedly, attempting to either touch or touching the women with his hands and penis. And some of the conduct as you’ve seen from the pleadings went much further than that. Today we have some documents to hand out to you.
Tony Buzbee: (24:01)
I organized these in packages. Package number one are direct messages on Instagram from Deshaun Watson to one of the plaintiffs in this case where they began to talk about him asking for a massage therapist from a previous massage therapist and telling her before he would agree on one, that he needs to see her picture and her pictures on Instagram. That’s packet number one. Packet number two, and these are all arranged that way and we’ll put them online that way as well. Package number two, it’s where Deshaun Watson reaches out to a woman in Atlanta, Georgia, while he’s in Houston. Hear what I’m saying. He reaches out to a woman via direct message on Instagram who’s located in Atlanta, Georgia. He does this while he’s in Houston.
Tony Buzbee: (24:59)
He asked her for a massage. He tells her he’ll fly her in. He buys her a plane ticket. He arranges for her Uber from the airport. He Uber’s her to the Houstonian. She says, “I don’t have a table. I’m not bringing a table.” Then he says, “I’ll borrow one from the team.” He borrows a table from the Houston Texans. He does this many different times in these massage instances. In some cases, he asked them, “Can you just massage me on the bed?” When they insist on a table, he borrows it from the Houston Texans. In some of these instances, we know that it was personnel from the Houston Texans who made the referral, who helped him arrange the massage. That’s packet two. Packet three is a copy of the nondisclosure agreement. As best I can tell, because it certainly doesn’t look like a lawyer did it, but it’s a nondisclosure agreement that was in one case emailed and another case sent by direct message.
Tony Buzbee: (26:06)
Discussed multiple times in direct messages where he either, again, asked before or after that the massage therapist sign the nondisclosure agreement. That’s package number three. Package number four are tweets from as far back as 2012 where Deshaun Watson talks about massages. Specifically, January, 2012, he says, “That massage I got from the girls in the student section right before I got called out to play,” with an exclamation point. Package number five, package number five is a series of direct messages where one of the massage therapists reports to her boss or coworker, her interaction with Deshaun Watson and her shock and dismay and frustration, and bewilderment and humiliation about his conduct. This woman direct messages another woman who had set up the massage and she says, “I normally am the one who coordinates his therapist when I can make it. So I’m very close to the team.” She says.
Tony Buzbee: (27:20)
She says, now, remember, at this point, the individual had not been identified. I just said I had a very bad experience in my last massage. And since she had made the referral the woman says, “You don’t have to tell me, but out of curiosity, was it Deshaun Watson?” She guesses who it was without being told. And here’s what she says. And if you wonder whether why some of these victims did not come forward immediately, if you wonder why some of these victims are reluctant or wary, listen to the words that she puts in a direct message. ” So she can report to police but from what I understand, they won’t do much.” So she’s discouraging her to report it to the police. She goes on to say, “I can get the player personnel person for whatever team it is for her. That’s who you would talk to on the team to handle it. They don’t do much about the situation though.”
Tony Buzbee: (28:22)
She goes on to say, “It sucks, but it’s just like a regular client. In my experience, they usually try the first time, then stop. If it’s Deshaun, I’ll call his manager or agent on behalf of her if she’d like. These guys are used to never being told no and women throw themselves at them daily. It’s easier said than done but shake it off. There’s nothing she could have done or can do.” Now, you wonder why somebody might not come forward when this is the type of information they’re being given. When they claim that they’re close to the Texans and police aren’t going to do anything about it. And the best thing you can do is block his number, unfollow him on Instagram and never have any further contact from him. Also, part of package four is a direct message, iMessage, that makes clear that Quincy Avery, quarterback coach for Deshaun Watson, and many other quarterbacks made at least one referral of a massage therapist to one of the victims. And I now have to do this and I didn’t want to do this, but I’m going to do it. We saw just recently that the Watson team released statements from 18 individuals who claimed that they had massaged Deshaun Watson and he never did one thing wrong. And that may be true or that may not be true. I don’t know. And laying aside the number of massage therapists involved and why somebody who has access to world-class therapists, world-class medical team, world-class trainers, hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of dollars with people who were on staff to do massage, why that individual would feel necessary to reach out to more than 50 massage therapists. Some of which do not even specialize in massage via Instagram and insists that they he sees their pictures and tells them what to wear and insists that it’d be alone. Lay aside that question, here’s what I think you should know. One of these individuals that was released said, “I’ve been providing massage therapy to Deshaun in 2018 and massaged him at least 40 times since then. I’ve never had a single uncomfortable or inappropriate experience with Deshaun.” That was the statement that was released.
Tony Buzbee: (30:50)
But let me read to you the direct message that this individual sent that we now have copy of. “I told you I stopped working with him.” ” Yeah. Why?” “Because I was hearing too much stuff about him messing with other people like other therapists and estheticians. He’s been doing a lot the last three or four months. I even told his ass he needed be careful because [inaudible 00:31:12] getting around. I just hope don’t nobody call me to question me.” That’s two different stories. Now, I’m not suggesting that the 18 women had bad experiences? I don’t know. Am I suggesting there’s a reason they came forward? I don’t know. That’s the questions for you to ask. But what I do know is that what was said publicly by this one individual and what is said privately were two completely different things. Now, what we’re going to do now other than provide these documents to you is I’m going to have Cornelia read a statement from another victim.
Tony Buzbee: (31:48)
It’s very difficult to read. Cornelia, please introduce the person. This is one of the 22 plaintiffs. She has the courage to release her name and she had the courage… She was told about her therapist, “Write a letter to Deshaun Watson. Not to deliver it to him, but to help you in trying to get past, if you can, what he did to you.” Cornelia.
Thank you, Tony. [inaudible 00:32:19] Thank you. Thank you, Tony. This is a very brave young woman who came forward to us and now she wants this letter that she wrote to Deshaun Watson to be read as well. She was gracious enough to give me the permission to read her letter on her behalf. Her name is Lauren Baxley. Remember her name.
Lauren Baxley: (33:00)
Remember her name. When you reached out to me through Instagram, I was excited to work with you. I’ve had the opportunity to work with many athletes. And as massage therapy is an important component to athletic performance, I took it seriously that you would entrust me with your physical recovery. You asked how long I had been a therapist, and I told you 11 years. I watched a few YouTube clips of quarterbacks during games, carefully making mental notes of the pivoting, sprinting, even sacking that occurs, in order to best prepare myself for your unique needs.
Lauren Baxley: (33:43)
When you requested a pre-consultation phone call, I was happy to oblige. You detailed a few items of concern, your privacy, and areas of desired focus. You made sure to use the words, quote-unquote, professional, and quote-unquote, non-sexual, though I wondered a bit when you mentioned that it was, quote-unquote, difficult for you to find a therapist who was, quote-unquote, comfortable working with you. Certainly, all you wanted was professional work. Maybe other therapists were simply star struck by your local celebrity. I could not know at that point. You mentioned needing extra focus in your gluteal area, which is standard for anyone, particularly an athlete who requires massive sprinting power and short bursts of speed. You texted, “We still good?” shortly before your appointment on June 2nd. I confirmed and gave you parking instructions, while you repeated your privacy concerns. You asked again if we had privacy space. I said yes. And then, you asked if you could shower before your service. I found that a little strange, but if you were coming from a training session, not abnormal. I said you could shower beforehand.
Lauren Baxley: (34:58)
When you arrived, I had you sign a consent form for massage treatment. Then I showed you the shower room and massage room, directing you to get on the massage table face down and under the sheets after your shower. I stepped out to give you privacy and space, and closed the doors between us.
Lauren Baxley: (35:16)
When you confirmed that you were ready for your massage, I entered the room and was both shocked and sickened to find you completely nude face down. Your full rear was exposed as well as your scrotum. I quickly covered you with a hand towel, as you tried to insist that you were both uncomfortable by the towel, and you didn’t mind being exposed. I said that I minded.
Lauren Baxley: (35:38)
As I attempted to start the session, you clearly directed me away from a therapeutic glute massage toward your anus. Every boundary from professional and therapeutic to sexual and degrading, you crossed or attempted to cross. You insisted that I not use my knuckles or forearms, but that I use my fingers for digital stimulation, which is an ethical violation of massage practice when working in the gluteal area. I compromised by attempting to use the lateral border of my hand. I did not want to touch you, but my terror kept me in autopilot, and I continued to the best of my ability to give you therapeutic treatment. But at this point, it was clear that’s not what you were seeking.
Lauren Baxley: (36:22)
When you turned over, you again exposed yourself, this time, your penis. When I covered your groin area, you complained again that the very soft towel I had provided was itchy and rough. At that point, I carefully covered your groin with a softer headrest cover, pulling the towel out from under that, so as not to expose you. You were aroused and removed the cover when I was working on your upper quad area, at which time you moved in such a way that your penis touched my hand. You then told me to just grab it, if it was in my way. This happened multiple times, and I felt as if the session time was spent trying not to be sick, not have an outburst, and keep you covered.
Lauren Baxley: (37:11)
In those minutes, I considered my past, present, and potential clients who were connected to you through the Texans franchise and your social life. With your millions of fans and followers, with your resources and income, I felt both powerless and trapped. My work contract with my building was tied to my lease, and at the snap of your fingers, I knew my good reputation, my home, and my career might be lost. Other than my massage license, I had very little education to fall back on in hopes of finding supportive income. My anger and disgust burned within me, both at you and at myself. My false sense of shame in the way I had been cornered did not sit well with my outspoken nature against abuse of any kind.
Lauren Baxley: (37:56)
I have been angry at you for so many reasons since that day in June. I am furious that the talented and hardworking young black men that gave so many children inspiration is nothing more than a predator with power. I am heartbroken for your family, for your loved ones, for those coming to terms with the fact that your charitable work and good guy persona are nothing more than a meticulously designed facade to keep your victims silent and second guessing themselves. How can such a good man do such terrible things, and with frequency and total disregard for his abuse victims? You are not a good man. Anything good that you have done is poisoned by your true nature.
Lauren Baxley: (38:43)
Maybe you suffered abuse yourself in the past, and maybe you have genuinely attempted to convince yourself as much as us, your victims, and the general public that you are without fault. Maybe you need intensive and professional long-term help, but that does not humanize you or the terrors you have inflicted upon countless powerless women.
Lauren Baxley: (39:03)
I have written this upon the recommendation of my trauma therapist to forgive myself for not speaking up sooner, to forgive myself for not being braver. But I have also written this so that you can know, without excuse or justification, that you have deeply and irreversibly brought terror to me and others. There is trauma associated with unwanted sexual contact and assault in a place that’s meant to bring peace and therapy, but there are even deeper terrors that you have brought in my life. The terror that my partner might not believe me, the fear of abandonment and loss of my job. I have had fears of being attacked in my own home or business, after reading comments from your fans and supporters.
Lauren Baxley: (39:54)
I have felt nausea and heartbreak over seeing accusations that my pursuit of justice is an attempt at receiving fame or money. Be assured, I have worked with far more wealthy clients and with clients who have far more global celebrity. None of them have perpetrated sexual misconduct towards me, only you. I initially came forward to offer solidarity to other women, but I have since realized that I am deserving of justice, as well. I hope the court of law brings that justice and that you’re stripped of both your power and ability to hurt more women, and that you undergo intensive therapy. Lauren Baxley.
Tony Buzbee: (40:43)
Okay. We’ll take just a couple of questions, because this has been going on a while. If there’s any questions, we’ll take them. If not, we’ll conclude.
Speaker 3: (40:51)
Could you spell the name of the second woman you just took a statement from.
Lauren Baxley: (40:56)
Sure. First name is Lauren, L-A-U-R-E-N. Last name Baxley, B like boy, A- X-L-E-Y.
Speaker 4: (41:01)
Tony, how many of your clients will be making [inaudible 00:41:07]?
Tony Buzbee: (41:08)
That is completely up to them. I think since at least two, perhaps three have done so already, there’s others that are considering it. I can tell you, and this is again, based on reports, because I wasn’t involved in it, but that the Houston Police Department was extremely cooperative, professional, compassionate. But as you’ve heard here, it’s a very intense process. It’s very intense.