How many sexual misconduct lawsuits is Cleveland Browns’ QB Deshaun Watson facing?
The NFL quarterback is accused of committing sexual improprieties during the course of massages, something he continues to deny to some degree.
We got the details of the latest situation from the report laid out in the New York Times last week. In that it said that the Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson had solicited massages, then sexualised the sessions, “begging” for oral sex and making aggressive sexual advances.
At first Watson denied all allegations, saying he did nothing wrong. But then his side of the story changed, with his defense attorney, Rusty Hardin, conceding that Watson had had sexual contact with three of the women but claimed that all such cases were consensual, and even that they had initiated them. And although that he said he had made one of the massage therapists cry, there was no clarification as to why. That’s where the 5th amendment kicked in.
Two more women added to Watson suit
At the end of last week we highlighted that the Browns knew about 23 women who filed lawsuits against Watson, but that an unknown 24th lawsuit could allow them to void his contract. On Monday it was reported by KPRC2 in Houston and CBS Sports that two more women are in the process of filing suit against the quarterback.
Attorney Tony Buzbee said that he would be filing a 25th lawsuit “in due course,” said the report, while yet another woman had came forward to him after watching some of Watson’s accusers speak on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.” This combines to a current total of 26 women.
Two grand juries in Texas declined to bring criminal charges against Watson earlier this year. The NYT report stated that Watson had met with at least 66 female massage therapists over a period of 17 months while he played for the Houston Texans, who are expected to be called as defendants. That number contrasts with the number that Watson previously stated when he said he had hired around 40 massage therapists across five seasons. Evidence of Non-Disclosure Agreements provided by his former team to the offering of failed settlements, suggest varying tactics have been employed to hide his actions.
The Browns acquired Watson from the Houston Texans in a trade in March and gave him $230 million in guaranteed money on a five-year deal. The NFL continues to investigate Watson and recently wrapped up interviews with the quarterback. Despite no criminal charges being filed, the league could suspend Watson for violating the league’s personal conduct standards.