Browns QB Deshaun Watson settles all but four of the 24 lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct

Browns QB Deshaun Watson settles all but four of the 24 lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct

Cleveland Browns general Deshaun Watson reached a confidential agreement with all but four of the 24 women who sued and accused him of sexual harassment during massage sessions in 2020 and early 2021, the women’s lawyer said on Tuesday.

The settlements end the legal dispute of women against him almost 15 months after most were filed in 2021.

“Today I announce that all but four of Deshaun Watson’s cases have been settled,” said Tony Buzbee, the plaintiff’s lawyer. “We work through the bureaucracy associated with these settlements. Once we do, these specific cases will be rejected. The terms and amounts of the arrangements are confidential. We will not comment further on the settlements or these cases “.

The settlement allows Watson to move out of the litigation that has regularly made headlines for him, at least somewhat spoiling his recent arrival in Cleveland as the new Browns’s $ 230 million general. Settlement also helps him avoid several deposit days scheduled for this week. These deposits are no longer advanced.

A big question now is how the settlement can affect any decision to suspend it in accordance with the NFL’s personal conduct policy. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in May that the investigation into the Watson allegations was coming to an end, but it was unclear what the league knew about two new lawsuits filed against Watson this year or information from a recent revelation before the trial.

Cleveland Browns general Desson Watson plays a game during mini-camping at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus.

Cleveland Browns general Desson Watson plays a game during mini-camping at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus.

Watson, 26, was never arrested or charged after two jurors refused to charge him. There could have been several reasons why the courts chose not to charge him, including the lack of hard evidence in these individual cases when Watson’s speech dealt with the women’s speech. Only one of the complainants was called to testify in Harris County’s grand jury trial in March, although other complainants were called in and were ready to testify, Buzbee told USA TODAY Sports earlier.

One of the cases that was not settled is the first plaintiff’s lawsuit to sue Watson, Ashley Solis. Buzbee said she looks forward to testing her case and the others to stay active in due course.

“The case against Deshaun Watson started with a phone call from a brave and strong woman,” Buzbee said. “This woman was Ashley Solis. At the time of that call it was just one of hundreds of calls our company received weekly for legal aid. Although she was initially rejected by our audit process, my staff insisted that I speak to her in person. I’m glad he insisted. As soon as we got a second look, and after contacting Watson’s original lawyer, who disrespected Ashley and her profession and arrogantly downplayed the behavior of someone she called an “asset,” I was convinced that our law firm should try to help her. .

“As a result of Ashley’s lonely but brave voice, many women who were supposed to be experiencing the same behavior were soon encouraged to move on. I am incredibly proud to represent them all. They have endured vicious criticism and fanatical ignorance. They faced cross-examination by experienced judges and remained steadfast. They are all warriors. Today we have an important announcement about these cases, but it is important to point out that, without Ashley Solis, the behavior these women are experiencing would probably have continued uninterrupted. The truth is that without her courage and willingness to show up, the NFL would not be thinking about discipline right now. There would be no consideration of how groups could knowingly or unknowingly activate a particular behavior. sports teams will not review their staff control procedures. and this important story would not have dominated the sports headlines for more than a year. “

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Deshaun Watson reconciles with all but four of the 24 women who sued him

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