Jun 21, 2022 - Sports

Deshaun Watson settles 20 of the 24 sexual misconduct suits against him

Deshaun Watson at Cleveland Browns practice
Deshaun Watson practicing with the Cleveland Browns last week. Photo: Nick Cammett/Getty Images

Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has settled with 20 of the 24 women who have filed sexual misconduct cases against him, according to Tony Buzbee, the lawyer representing the women accusing Watson.

Catch up quick: Watson was first publicly accused of sexual misconduct in March 2021, per a Sports Illustrated timeline.

  • Most of Watson's accusers were hired by him for massage therapy.
  • Eight of the 22 women, all who worked as massage therapists for Watson, filed criminal complaints. Two other women also joined in the criminal complaints, which were dismissed in March of this year.
  • After the cases were dismissed, Watson was traded from the Houston Texans to the Cleveland Browns, with whom he signed a five-year, $230 million deal, per CNN.
  • An investigation by the New York Times this month found that Watson booked massage appointments with at least 66 women over a 17-month span.
  • The investigation also found that the Texans helped provide the venue for some of his massage appointments. A team representative for the Texans also gave him a nondisclosure agreement that Watson gave to several women after a massage therapist threatened to expose his behavior.
  • The Houston Texans and the Cleveland Browns did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Details: Buzbee did not provide any specifics about the settlements in his statement and said that the terms and amounts of the settlements are confidential.

  • Buzbee did highlight Ashley Solis, one of the first women to accuse Watson and who filed the initial lawsuit, as someone instrumental in getting the settlements for the women, per the statement.
  • Solis is one of the four women who have not yet settled, per the statement.

What they're saying: "Without Ashley Solis, the conduct experienced by these women would likely have continued unfettered," Buzbee wrote in his statement.

  • Following the settlement announcement, NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said: "Today's development has no impact on the collectively bargained disciplinary process."
Go deeper