Below is an open letter from one of NFL quarterback Deshaun Watson’s 22 accusers. A total of 22 civil lawsuits are pending against Watson for sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to assault. Watson, who is currently dating “Boss Babe” influencer Jilly Anais, has denied the allegations.
Dear Jilly “Boss Babe” Anais,
I’ve walked in your shoes before. I loved someone for years whom I found charming, unbelievably talented (though not an NFL quarterback), sweet (at times), who I thought would fit perfectly into my life plans and be my life partner.
I began to hear from other women that he was acting single, but he insisted they were lying. At every turn, when his character was called into question, he insisted that the world was trying to tear us apart. He would attack the intentions of everyone around me. He laid premeditated traps and lies, so if anyone spoke out against him, he had already ruined their credibility. He isolated me from my friends and family. I began to mistrust everyone—especially myself.
He was into church. He quoted scripture. He prayed. I thought, if a man loves God, then I can trust this. I can trust him. Right?
He forced me into a position where I had to blindly trust him. Love cannot exist without trust, and it was much easier to believe his lies when I no longer trusted my own instincts. He bulldozed my boundaries. There was assault in our physical relationship. He always got what he wanted.
He was a man who should have had—could have had—everything. But he was damaged beyond belief, and his choices and actions sabotaged his life. When it was finally over, I felt like I could breathe again.
Jilly, I hope this for your life. I am not a stranger, and yet you do not know me. I am a woman who was assaulted by your boyfriend. Deshaun Watson came into my place of work, my sole means of a modest income, and destroyed my mental health and my career. He destroyed my love for my job, my trust in strangers, and my foreseeable future. He terrified me, and tried to gratify himself at my expense. He degraded me.
Am I not a human? Am I not worthy of justice?
To the apologists and the ones who demand “proof,” I am proof. My testimony, my hurting heart, my broken trust, and my body bent with stress are tangible and measurable and irrefutable evidence of the horrors your boyfriend has inflicted on me without remorse.
Because he has never faced true consequences, he will continue to do this. I speak out, despite my desire to hide forever, because it sickens me to think that another woman may have her life defiled by him. Please, please distance yourself from this man.
You’ve built your brand on the fallacy that you are a feminist. What kind of feminist doesn’t believe dozens of women over one man? We are women who come from different socioeconomic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. We are women with different gender preferences, and women who share different hopes and dreams from one another. At what point will you stand with women?
I do not yet know if I can heal from this, but I believe you can. You have everything; you can have real, pure, faithful love too.
Every news article that discusses where he might be traded, every tweet that disregards our lives to showcase the indifference and opulence you both live in is evil. It causes us, your boyfriend’s survivors, great pain.
Don’t you care?
Please see me, and the other women seeking justice against Watson, as actual people.
Another Jane Doe