Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Browns’ Deshaun Watson reaches confidential settlements in 20 of 24 civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct

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USATSI

Deshaun Watson has settled out of court. The 26-year-old continues to top recent NFL headlines following his blockbuster trade from the Houston Texans to the Cleveland Browns, a move followed by the latter awarding him a historic new contract despite his ongoing legal battles. As the calendar nears July, however, Watson has chosen to resolve most of the litigation stemming from rampant allegations of sexual misconduct, settling 20 of the currently outstanding 24 cases, per Houston attorney Tony Buzbee — who represents each of the 24 accusers. 

As such, each settled case will be dismissed, as Buzbee noted in the following excerpt from his official statement that was issued on Tuesday.

“Today, I announce that all cases against Deshaun Watson, with the exception of four, have settled. 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.”

Despite two separate grand juries finding there was not enough evidence to try Watson on criminal charges, along with news of the aforementioned settlements, Watson is not out of the legal woods just yet. As mentioned, there are still four cases against him pending, and that includes the original accuser, Ashley Solis. 

“Ashley Solis is one of the heroes of this story. Her case has not settled and thus her story and that of the other three brave women will continue,” said Buzbee. “I look forward to trying these cases in due course, consistent with other docket obligations and the court’s schedule.”

Watson is also subject to potential penalty from the NFL, with commissioner Roger Goodell still working through a probe into any potential wrongdoing by the veteran quarterback, who could be hit with a substantial suspension — if reports of Goodell’s intent to deliver a one-year ban are accurate. Watson is alleged to have solicited sex from multiple masseuses over the span of 17 months while with the Texans, having reportedly employed the services of 66 in all during that stretch of time, and new allegations/cases have been filed since his move to the Browns.

With this round of conclusion to most of the ongoing cases, it’s likely the NFL will rule soon on the matter. NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy released a statement saying: “Today’s development has no impact on the collectively bargained disciplinary process.”  

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