Deshaun Watson accusers settle claims against Texans

The Houston Texans reached settlements with 30 women who accused NFL quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct during massage appointments, according to Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing the women.

One of Watson’s accusers filed a lawsuit last month against the Texans, Watson’s former employer, claiming the organization ‘turned a blind eye’ to Watson’s behavior towards female massage therapists while he played for the team. She is the only plaintiff to file a lawsuit against the Texans, but in a statement, Buzbee said the settlements affect “all women who have made or intend to make claims against the Houston Texans organization.” .

Twenty-four women have filed lawsuits against Watson, alleging he assaulted or harassed them during massage appointments between 2020 and 2021 while he was on the Texans roster. Watson, who has denied any wrongdoing, settled 20 of those lawsuits last month. The identities of the six additional women reaching settlements with the Texans are unknown, and Buzbee declined to share any additional details about their claims against Watson or the team.

“I will have no further comment on the allegations or the Texans’ alleged role, other than to say that there is a stark contrast in the way the Texans have approached these allegations and the way the team at Watson did it,” Buzbee says.

Buzbee said the terms of the settlements, including the financial amount, are confidential.

The Texans did not immediately return a request for comment.

The news of the women’s settlements with the Texans comes as Watson awaits a decision on whether or how he will be disciplined by the NFL after a three-day hearing last month before an arbitrator jointly appointed by the league and the NFL Players Association. . Two Texas grand juries declined to indict Watson on criminal charges in March. After the first grand jury declined to press charges and before the second did, the Browns traded for Watson and signed him to an unprecedented, fully guaranteed five-year contract worth $230 million. dollars.

Before one of Watson’s accusers filed his lawsuit against the Texans, a New York Times investigation showed the team provided the venue Watson used for some of the massage appointments that resulted in lawsuits civil or criminal. A team representative also provided him with a nondisclosure agreement after a woman who later sued him threatened him online to expose his behavior.

Buzbee said the woman’s lawsuit against the Texans would be dismissed with prejudice as soon as the settlement papers are completed. Four lawsuits against Watson are still pending — including that of the woman who sued the Texans — and the settlements with the Texans don’t appear to affect those cases.

Buzbee reiterated that “all four cases filed against Deshaun Watson will continue” and that all four are expected to go to trial in the spring of 2023.

nytimes sport

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