Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson settled 20 of 24 civil lawsuits brought against him, according to attorney Tony Buzbee.
Watson, who didn’t play with the Texans last season, is now facing a suspension from the NFL and still has four women suing him for sexual assault and sexual misconduct. Buzbee, a lawyer representing the 24 women, announced the settlement in a statement Tuesday.
“We are processing the paperwork associated with these settlements,” Buzby said in the statement. “Once we do, those specific cases will be dismissed. The terms and amount of the settlement are confidential. We will not comment further on the settlement or those cases.”
Since March 2021, there have been 25 lawsuits against Watson alleging misconduct during massage sessions. One was abandoned by the plaintiff, and 20 have now been settled out of court.
One of the four women advancing the lawsuit is Ashley Solis, the first woman to make the allegations publicly. Watson and his attorney deny the allegations.
“Ashley Solis is one of the heroes of this story,” Buzbee said. “Her case has not been resolved, so the story of her and three other brave women will continue. I look forward to hearing these cases in due course, in line with other case obligations and the court’s timeline.”
In March, the second of two Texas grand juries declined to indict Watson, who was recently traded to the Browns with which he signed a five-year, $230 million contract. Guarantee contract.
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) June 21, 2022
Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that Watson had booked massages for at least 66 different women during the 17-month period between fall 2019 and spring 2021. Since the controversy surrounding Watson began, he has been known to see a large number of female massage therapists, but the New York Times number is by far the highest and most certain.
Despite the grand jury decision and Watson’s settlement of the vast majority of the lawsuit out of court, Watson could still face a long-term suspension from the NFL. The league is investigating whether Watson violated its code of conduct policy.
“Today’s developments have no impact on the collective bargaining disciplinary process,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement Tuesday.