Jul 15, 2022 - Sports

Houston Texans settle with 30 of Deshaun Watson's accusers

deshaun watson
Deshaun watson in January 2021 in a game with the Houston Texans. He now plays for the Cleveland Browns. Photo: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Houston Texans have reached settlements with 30 women who have made, or intended to make, allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct against former quarterback Deshaun Watson, according to statements from attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents 24 of the women, and the Texans organization.

Catch up quick: One of Watson's accusers filed a lawsuit against the Texans in June alleging that the team "knew or should have known of Watson's conduct" and enabled it, according to The Athletic.

  • Most of Watson's accusers were hired by him for massage therapy, and a New York Times investigation found that the Texans "provided the venue Watson used for some of the appointments."
  • A Houston Texans staff member also allegedly provided Watson with a nondisclosure agreement after a woman threatened to expose his behavior, per the Times.

Details: The terms of the settlements are confidential, Buzbee said in a statement.

  • Only one of the 30 women had filed a formal lawsuit against the Texans, but her suit would be dismissed with prejudice once the settlement is complete, per Buzbee's statement.

What they're saying: "Although our organization did not have any knowledge of Deshaun Watson’s alleged misconduct, we have intentionally chosen to resolve this matter amicably," the Texans said in a statement.

  • "This is not an admission of any wrongdoing, but instead a clear stand against any form of sexual assault and misconduct."
  • "There is a marked contrast in the way in which the Texans addressed these allegations, and the way in which Watson's team has done so," Buzbee said.

Watson was first accused of sexual misconduct in March 2021, per a Sports Illustrated timeline. Several women later filed criminal complaints in addition to civil suits against him.

  • Watson's lawyers have said there was "some sexual activity" during some of the appointments, but that he never coerced anyone.
  • Watson invoked the Fifth Amendment during his deposition, per ESPN. A grand jury declined to indict him for sexual misconduct in March.
  • He eventually settled 20 of the 24 sexual misconduct suits against him.

What's next: The four cases filed against Watson will continue, Buzbee added.

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