Deshaun Watson settles 20 lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct
|Tuesday, June 21, 2022, 12:08 PM- -|
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has reached a confidential agreement to settle with 20 women that accused him of sexual misconduct over the last two years.
The plaintiffs' attorney Tony Buzbee announced the news Tuesday afternoon.
"Today, I announce that all cases against Deshaun Watson, with the exception of four, have settled," 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."
There are still four civil lawsuits against Watson.
One of the four cases that has not been settled is the first plaintiff Ashley Solis.
"The cases against Deshaun Watson started with one phone call, from one brave and strong woman,” Buzbee said. “That woman was Ashley Solis. At the time of that call she was just one of the hundreds of calls seeking legal assistance that our firm gets weekly. Even though she was originally turned away by our screening process, my staff insisted that I personally speak with her. I’m glad she persisted. Once we took a second look, and after having contact with Watson’s original lawyer who disrespected Ashley and her profession and who arrogantly minimized the conduct of someone he referred to as an 'asset,' I was convinced that our law firm should try to help her.
"As a result of Ashley’s lone but brave voice, soon many women who had allegedly experienced the same conduct were emboldened to step forward. I am incredibly proud to represent them all. They have endured vile criticism and fanatical ignorance. They faced withering cross examination by skilled litigators and stood firm. They are warriors all. Today we have an important announcement about these cases, but it is important to point out that, without Ashley Solis, the conduct experienced by these women would likely have continued unfettered. The truth is, without her courage and willingness to come forward, the NFL wouldn’t currently be contemplating discipline; there would be no examination of how teams might knowingly or unknowingly enable certain behavior; sports teams wouldn’t be reviewing their personnel screening processes; and this important story wouldn’t have dominated the sports headlines for more than a year."
The NFL has not announced if they will hand out disciplinary actions yet against Watson under the personal conduct policy for the upcoming season.
Watson signed a guaranteed $230 million contract with the Browns this offseason.