HOUSTON - Several of the women who filed lawsuits against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson will soon be identified.
Twenty-two civil lawsuits have been filed against Watson in which women accuse him of assault and harassment during massage sessions.
The women were all identified as Jane Does in the lawsuits, but two of the women were identified during a press conference on Tuesday.
Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, has asked that all the women be publicly identified so his client can "have a chance at properly defending himself." On Thursday, Hardin announced he filed a motion.
During a hearing on Friday morning, Hardin asked the judge to allow the name of one of the Jane Does to be released so that they can properly investigate and fairly assess the allegations.
Tony Buzbee, who is representing the women who filed the lawsuits, responded by saying at least one woman who came forward has received death threats, and he wants to protect the women.
State Civil District Judge Dedra Davis also mentioned the need to protect the public at large.
The judge ordered that the woman’s lawsuit be refiled within two days with her name on it
In an 11 a.m. hearing, a different judge reviewed similar requests by Hardin to reveal the names of Watson’s accusers in 12 of the other lawsuits.
Buzbee said that nine of the 12 women had already given consent to amend the petitions with their names. The judge granted the special exceptions for the other three cases.
In a statement on Thursday, Hardin said, "We have said this before and we want to say it again: Deshaun did not force, coerce or intimidate anyone to do anything against their will."
Buzbee released at statement Friday afternoon saying, "Today during Court proceedings, the Watson team spent most of their time attacking me because they claimed that, without the identities of the women suing Watson, they could not properly investigate the case and defend Mr. Watson. I had previously explained to Watson's team that most of the women in this case had already given me permission to release their names to Mr. Hardin, and that I had intended to do so in due course. Indeed, after they watched Ashley Solis provide her compelling and truthful statement, these brave women felt emboldened and strong enough to take this important step. They are ready to be identified. In lawsuits sometimes we push hard for something that may turn out to not be helpful. As I said in Court, "be careful what you ask for." Identifying these women at this point adds even more credibility to the allegations being made, and I am proud to stand with these brave and courageous women."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.