Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshon Watson has resolved all but four lawsuits against him, attorney Tony Busby said in a statement Tuesday.
As of March 16, 2021, 25 lawsuits have been filed against Watson for allegations of sexual assault and other misconduct during massage sessions. Of those 25, one prosecutor withdrew when a judge ruled that her petition must be changed to her name. The other 20, Buzbee said, have been settled.
“We are working on paperwork related to those settlements,” Buzbee said in a statement. “Once we do that, those specific cases will be rejected. The terms and amounts of the settlement are confidential. We will not comment further on the settlements or those cases. “
Busby noted that Ashley Solis, the first woman to file a lawsuit against Watson and the first to speak out and identify herself as a prosecutor, is not one of the 20 women who settled.
“… Ashley Solis is one of the heroes of this story. Her case has not been resolved, so her story and the story of the other three brave women will continue. I look forward to judging these cases in the foreseeable future, in line with other cases of obligation and the court schedule, “he said.
Although two grand juries in Texas refused to file criminal charges against Watson earlier this year, the NFL is investigating whether he violated the code of conduct, and the league personally interviewed the quarterback last month as part of its investigation. At the spring meeting of the league, Commissioner Roger Goodell said that he thinks that the NFL is nearing the end of the investigation, but that he cannot give a time frame when a decision could be made.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said on Tuesday that “today’s development has no impact on the collectively agreed disciplinary process.”
In his statement, Buzbee said that without Solis’ courage and will to step forward, the NFL would not be thinking about discipline at the moment; there would be no testing on how teams would consciously or unconsciously enable certain behavior; sports teams would not audit their staff vetting process; and this important story would not dominate sports titles for more than a year. “
The Houston Texans traded Watson to the Browns in March in exchange for a package that included three first-round draft picks after the first grand jury announced it would not charge Watson with criminal charges.
Last week, Watson said at a press conference that he did not regret any of his actions, but admitted that he regretted the impact that the accusations had on the people around him.
“I understand that I regret it [it’s had] to the community and people outside of me, “Watson said.” And that includes my family. That includes this organization. That includes my teammates in this locker room who have to answer these questions. That includes the Cleveland Browns fan base. This includes men, women, everyone around the world. That is one thing that I regret is the impact it has had on so many people. It’s hard to deal with that. “
Jake Trotter of ESPN contributed to this report.
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