Deshaun Watson settles with 20 of 24 women who accused him of sexual misconduct, attorney says
Deshaun Watson agreed to a confidential settlement with 20 of his 24 sexual misconduct accusers, an attorney for the women said Tuesday.
The Cleveland Browns quarterback faced a number of accusations in multiple lawsuits about sexual misconduct with massage therapists. He was cleared of criminal wrongdoing by two Texas grand juries as the suits were filed in the state.
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Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson kneels during practice at the team’s training facility Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Berea, Ohio.
(AP Photo/David Richard)
“Today I announce that all cases against Deshaun Watson, with the exception of four, have settled,” Tony Buzbee said in a statement. “We are working through the paperwork related to those settlements. Once we have done so, those particular cases will be dismissed. The terms and amounts of the settlements are confidential. We won’t comment further on the settlements or those cases.”
Watson has repeatedly denied the allegations, which ranged from masturbating in front the women, ejaculating on women and situating himself during the massage to make the masseuse touch his groin area. According to a New York Times report, Watson had booked time with 66 massage therapists over a 17-month span.
He told reporters last week he was still in the process of clearing his name. He again reiterated to reporters he never “forced” or “assaulted” anyone.
DESHAUN WATSON SEEMINGLY REACTS TO LATEST REPORT, TEXANS’ ALLEGED ROLE
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson during organized team activities at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus, May 25, 2022, at Berea, Ohio.
(Ken Blaze-USA Today Sports)
“I’ve never forced anyone. I’ve never assaulted anyone. I’ve been saying it from the beginning and I’m going to continue to say it,” Watson said, via the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. “I understand these allegations are very serious. … I’m focused on clearing my name.”
The accusations stemmed from when Watson was a member of the Houston Texans. He sat out the 2021 season while the lawsuits came in and waited to be traded. The Texans traded him to the Browns in the offseason and he signed a lucrative contract extension simultaneously.
Meanwhile, Buzbee said the Texans would be named in the lawsuits after The Times reported a team official provided Watson with non-disclosure agreements. Watson reportedly received the NDAs from the “head of security for the Texans.” It’s unclear whether the team will still be involved in litigation.
Watson is still facing four lawsuits, with two more potentially coming.
Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns passes during an offseason workout at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on June 1, 2022, in Berea, Ohio.
(Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)
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The NFL was still investigating the Watson case and has yet to levy any punishment on the quarterback.