Deshaun Watson has settled all but four of the civil lawsuits brought by massage therapists who accused him of sexual misconduct.
The news was announced by plaintiff lawyer Tony Buzbee.
“The case against Deshaun Watson started with one phone call, from one brave and strong woman. That woman was Ashley Solis,” Buzbee said in the statement. “Even though she was originally turned away by our screening process, my staff insisted that I personally speak with her. I’m glad she persisted. Once we took a second look, and after having contact with Watson’s original lawyer who disrespected Ashley and her profession and who arrogantly minimized the conduct of someone he referred to as an ‘asset,’ I was convinced that our law firm should try to help her.
“As a result of Ashley’s lone but brave voice, soon many women who had allegedly experienced the same conduct were emboldened to step forward. I am incredibly proud to represent them all. They have endured vile criticism and fanatical ignorance. They faced withering cross examination by skilled litigators and stood firm. They are warriors all.”
Terms of the settlements were not disclosed. Watson had previously offered each plaintiff $100,000 to settle, but those agreements were denied on the “aggressive” nature of the NDAs.
Buzbee said that Solis’ suit and three others’ will continue.
“As stated, 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,” Buzbee said. “I look forward to trying those cases in due course, consistent with other docket obligations and the court’s schedule.”
Watson had been accused of sexual misconduct by over two dozen massage therapists. Last week, the Washington Post reported that his camp is bracing for a one-year suspension under the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.
The New York Times reported that Watson saw “at least” 66 female massage therapists in a 17-month stretch between 2019 and 2021.
Watson and his attorneys have steadfastly denied that any sexual interaction between the quarterback and massage therapists was non-consensual.
Watson was traded from the Texans to the Browns this offseason, and signed a five-year deal worth $230 million — fully guaranteed.