Last year Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson found himself at the center of a horrific scandal when more than 20 women came forward and accused him of various improprieties.
There have been a lot of twists and turns in this story thus far. On one hand, there have been multiple established contradictions and very shady practices that weaken some of the case against Watson.
One person who has consistently stuck by Watson’s side has been his girlfriend, Jilly Anais. Her relatively controversial response to the allegations raised a lot of eyebrows. In response, she doubled down hard.
In a column published on The Daily Beast, one of Watson’s accusers delivers a blunt message to Anais.
“Dear Jilly ‘Boss Babe’ Anais,” it begins. “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.”
The accuser went on to reveal intimate details of her own experience, and how they related to what Anais is going through.
“He forced me into a position where I had to blindly trust him,” she wrote. “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.”
Then the letter suddenly became more blunt.
“He was a man who should have had—could have had—everything,” the accuser wrote. “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.”
The accuser then went on to address all the skeptics.
“To the apologists and the ones who demand ‘proof,’ I am proof,” she continued. “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.”
And then came one final plea to Anais.
“Because he has never faced true consequences, he will continue to do this,” she wrote. “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.”
As recently as last week, Anais and Watson were all over each other. Like, go-get-a-room type stuff. So clearly neither one is too bothered by what folks think of their union.
Thanks to Antonio Brown she’s out here making athlete money. https://t.co/YGkAZOhKiv
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 14, 2022
But especially not Anais.
For better or worse, she is sticking by Watson to the bitter end. What will that ultimately look like? Time will tell.