Who is Ashley Solis? Massage therapist says Deshaun Watson touched her with his penis: 'I am seeking justice'

Solis is suffering from panic attacks, anxiety, depression and is no longer comfortable working as a massage therapist


                            Who is Ashley Solis? Massage therapist says Deshaun Watson touched her with his penis: 'I am seeking justice'
Ashley Solis has accused Deshaun Watson of sexually harassing her (Twitter/Getty Images)

The first woman to accuse Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual assault and harassment in a lawsuit came out publicly on Tuesday, April 6. She said she was terrorized by the incident with the NFL player and added that he needs to be held accountable for what he did.

During a press conference on Tuesday, April 6, Ashley Solis stated that she was assaulted and traumatized when she tried to give Watson a massage in March 2020. Solis chose to identify herself. “I come forward now so that Deshaun Watson does not assault another woman.... I am seeking justice not just on behalf of myself but for all survivors.... This is about having my voice heard,” a tearful Solis said as she read a statement, adding that she was no longer afraid to speak out. Watson has been accused of sexual assault or harassment in lawsuits filed by 22 women.

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Solis’s account of her encounter with Watson, in which he allegedly touched her with his penis during the massage session, follows the accusations made by the other women in their lawsuits. Watson has been accused of exposing himself, touching them with his penis or kissing them without their permission and against their will while he got a massage. At least one woman has alleged that Watson forced her to perform oral sex during a massage in December. All of the women who have accused Watson are either accredited massage therapists or worked in a spa or similar business. The first lawsuit from Solis was filed on March 16, 2021, and the most recent one was filed on Monday, April 5.

Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, has termed the allegations “meritless” and challenged the claims against Watson, saying they were made following a failed attempt to blackmail his client for $30,000.

Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans in action against the Tennessee Titans during a game at NRG Stadium on January 3, 2021, in Houston, Texas (Getty Images)

The Houston police department announced last week that they have started investigating Watson after a woman filed a report. Tony Buzbee, who represents the 22 women, said it was not Solis but another of his clients who filed the first report with the police. Solis said in her statement that since the alleged assault, she has been suffering from panic attacks, anxiety, depression and is no longer comfortable working as a massage therapist.

“I got into massage therapy to heal people, to heal their minds and bodies, to bring peace to their souls. Deshaun Watson has robbed me of that,” Solis said, adding that her lawsuit was not about seeking money.



 

Solis also said, "My father, who was once a diehard Texans fan, can no longer mention his name without turning red...we were all deceived into thinking Deshaun Watson was a good guy and unfortunately we know that good guys can do terrible things."



 

Solis said that she was in tears when Watson left after the incident. On his way out, she said Watson told her: "I know you have a career and a reputation, and I know you would hate for someone to mess with yours, just as I don't want anyone messing with mine. I replay the incident over and over in my head as if I'm trying to wake up for some horrible nightmare, only that nightmare is real," she said on April 6. Later, Solis added, Watson reached out to her via text message to apologize for the incident, but she did not respond. Buzbee has since shared that alleged text message from Watson to Solis on social media. "Sorry about you feeling uncomfortable," read the text message. "Never were the intensions. Lmk if you want to work in the future. My apologies."

Ashley Solis (Instagram)

But in a statement, Hardin said that Buzbee asked “$100,000 in hush money” on behalf of Solis before she filed her lawsuit. Hardin’s statement included copies of February emails between Buzbee’s firm and Scott Gaffield, an attorney for Watson, discussing the $100,000 settlement. “My email exchanges... were very clear. We did not think that the facts showed that Deshaun did anything wrong with their client. We believed then – and fully believe now – that Deshaun learned a lesson about putting himself in this type of situation by interacting with people he does not know,” Gaffield said in a statement.

At the news conference on Tuesday, April 6, an attorney with Buzbee’s firm read a letter written by another of the women who accused Watson of sexual assault and has also chosen to be publicly identified. In the letter, Lauren Baxley called Watson “a predator with power” and said that he touched her with his penis multiple times during a massage session. She said that after the session, she felt shame and terror that no one would believe her.



 

“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 into my life,” Baxley said. In a recent email to season ticket holders, Houston Texans chairman Cal McNair, whose family owns the team, stated they were informed of the lawsuits against Watson and that the team takes “these allegations very seriously”.

“While we await the conclusion of these investigations, we express our strong stance against any form of sexual assault. Our family and the entire Houston Texans organization are deeply troubled by any form of abuse and we condemn this type of behavior,” McNair said. The NFL has also said that they are investigating the allegations against Watson. 

These remarks were made by the internet and individual organizations, MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and nor does it support these claims being made on the internet.

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