Deshaun Watson accusers blast his record contract with Browns in HBO interview: ‘A big screw you’
A pair of women who are accusing Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct blasted the record contact he received with Cleveland after the team traded for him.
Watson signed a record-setting $230 million, fully guaranteed contract with the Browns in March after he was traded from the Houston Texans.
“It’s just like a big screw you,” one of Watson’s accusers, Ashley Solis, said during an appearance on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” which is set to air Tuesday evening. “That’s what it feels like. That we don’t care. He can run and throw, and that’s what we care about.’’
Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry, left, new quarterback Deshaun Watson, center, and head coach Kevin Stefanski pose for a photo during a news conference at the NFL football team’s training facility, Friday, March 25, 2022, in Berea, Ohio.
(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Solis and Kyla Hayes are two of the 22 plaintiffs with civil suits pending against Watson for alleged sexual misconduct that occurred during massage parlor appointments.
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“It was sick to me,” Hayes said during the interview about the contract Watson received. “I felt like he’s being rewarded for bad behavior.’’
Solis argued on HBO that she felt threatened after she was done with the session involving Watson.
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) celebrates a touchdown during the team’s NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts on Dec. 20, 2020, in Indianapolis.
(AP Photo/Zach Bolinger, File)
“He said ‘I know you have a career to protect.’ And ‘I know you don’t want anyone messing with it just like I don’t want anyone messing with mine,’” Solis added, via The Plain Dealer. “To me, that’s when that’s when I got really scared.’’
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Solis claimed that Watson “deliberately” put his penis on her hand during the session, leading her to pull her hand away immediately before she “started crying.”
“I told him that I’m done. I don’t wanna do this anymore,” she said.
A pair of grand juries in Texas declined to bring criminal charges against the quarterback. Watson has denied acting intentionally, and he has denied all the claims in the nearly two dozen civil suits against him.
“I’ve never assaulted or disrespected or harassed any woman in my life. I’ve never done these things people are alleging,” he said during his first news conference.
Cleveland Browns new quarterback Deshaun Watson enters a news conference at the NFL football team’s training facility, on March 25, 2022, in Berea, Ohio.
(AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)
The NFL has been investigating Watson to determine if the quarterback violated its personal conduct policy. He reportedly declined HBO’s request to be interviewed due to the investigation.
However, one of his lawyers, Leah Graham, spoke with HBO and said the quarterback has “no regrets because he did nothing wrong.”
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“He did nothing wrong in these massages,” Graham said. “And although … to your first question, “How can he be innocent?” I think the real question is, “What evidence is there of any guilt?”