Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has reportedly settled 20 of 24 civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct while playing for the Houston Texans.
As the NFL may seek a one-year suspension of Deshaun Watson for the heinous sexual misconduct allegations brought against him in the past year, Watson’s legal team has come to an agreement with 20 of the 24 plaintiffs who have filed civil lawsuits against Watson.
ESPN’s Jake Trotter shared the press release published by Tony Buzbee, the lawyer representing all 24 plaintiffs.
“Today I announce that all cases against Deshaun Watson, with the exception of four, have settled,” Buzbee wrote. “Once we have done so, those particular cases will be dismissed.”
Deshaun Watson settles 20 of 24 civil lawsuits, but Ashley Solis remains
In his press release, Buzbee recounts how the cases began with one phone call from the initial plaintiff, Ashley Solis.
“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,” Buzbee wrote. “I am incredibly proud to represent them all.”
Calling her “one of the heroes of this story,” Buzbee notes that Solis’ testimony brought forth a tidal wave of consequences for Watson, who has faced public scrutiny ever since the allegations came to light.
“Without Ashley Solis, the conduct experienced by these women would have likely continued unfettered,” Buzbee wrote. Buzbee then shares that Solis is one of the four women who have not settled their civil lawsuits with Watson.
“Her story and that of the other three brave women will continue,” Buzbee wrote. “I look forward to trying these cases in due course.”
When the 24th lawsuit was filed in early June, news broke that Watson previously tried to settle each of the civil suits with a $100,000 settlement, but many refused to settle due to the “aggressive nondisclosure agreement [NDA] that Watson’s team proposed.”
While this action means that 20 of the 24 plaintiffs will no longer seek legal recourse, Ashley Solis and three others will continue with their civil lawsuits. This also does not mean new suits will not emerge, as two have in the previous month. Finally, this does not necessarily affect the eventual outcome of the NFL’s decision to suspend Watson for the 2022 NFL season.