Deshaun Watson Settles 20 of 24 Sexual Misconduct Lawsuits for Undisclosed Amounts

Attorney Tony Buzbee announced that 20 of the 24 sexual misconduct lawsuits against Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson have been settled.

Deshaun Watson listens to questions during a press conference.

Deshaun Watson listens to questions during press conference after the Cleveland Browns mandatory minicamp.

Deshaun Watson listens to questions during a press conference.

Attorney Tony Buzbee announced Tuesday that 20 of the 24 sexual misconduct lawsuits filed against Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson have been settled, per ESPN. 

“We are working through the paperwork related to those settlements. Once we have done so, those particular cases will be dismissed,” Buzbee said in a statement. “The terms and amounts of the settlements are confidential. We won’t comment further on the settlements or those cases.” 

Buzbee notes Ashley Solis, the first woman to sue Watson and speak publicly about her experiences with him, is among the four remaining lawsuits that have not reached a settlement. “Ashley Solis is one of the heroes of this story,” he said. “Her case has not settled and thus her story and that of the other three brave women will continue.” 

Solis, along with Kyla Hayes, appeared on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel last month where they detailed certain incidents involving Watson, as well as their reaction to the Browns offering him a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract one week after being cleared of criminal sexual assault charges. 

“It’s like a big ‘screw you.’ That’s what it feels like,” Solis said. “That we don’t care. He can run and throw, and that’s what we care about.” Hayes added that she felt Watson was “rewarded for bad behavior.” 

Solis described an incident in her Real Sports interview when Watson “deliberately” put his penis on her hand during one massage, causing her to retract her hand and cry. “I told him that I’m done, I don’t want to do this anymore,” she said. Watson confirmed in his testimony that Solis once cried towards the end of one particular session. He later texted her to apologize for making her feel “uncomfortable,” and when asked what would compel him to send an apology text, Watson said she felt “uncomfortable [for] whatever reason.” 

NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said these settlements will have “no impact on the collectively bargained disciplinary process.” Commissioner Roger Goodell previously stated the league's investigation into Watson was nearing its conclusion, and no insight into the length of a potential punishment could be provided at the moment. 

Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin declined to comment on the settlements. 

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