Report: Beats by Dre Ends Deshaun Watson Relationship After Nike Suspends Endorsement

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVApril 7, 2021

Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Beats By Dre reportedly is ending its endorsement contract with Deshaun Watson amid 22 lawsuits against the Houston Texans quarterback accusing him of sexual assault or misconduct.

Sarah Barshop of ESPN reported the Apple-owned company is terminating its relationship with Watson. Nike previously announced it was suspending its endorsement of the three-time Pro Bowler.

"We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and have suspended Deshaun Watson. We will continue to closely monitor the situation," Nike said in a statement Wednesday.

Reliant Energy also announced it will not be continuing its relationship with Watson.

Watson losing corporate sponsorships comes a day after Ashley Solis became the first woman to publicly come forward as a plaintiff in one of the lawsuits against Watson. Solis said she suffers from panic attacks, anxiety and depression and has sought counseling because of Watson's actions. 

"I hope he knows how much pain he's inflicted on me emotionally and physically. And I hope he knows how much pain he's inflicted on these other survivors," Solis said. "People say that I'm doing this just for money. That is false. I come forward now so that Deshaun Watson does not assault another woman."

Another plaintiff, Lauren Baxley, wrote a letter to Watson that was read during the press conference. Houston-based attorney Tony Buzbee is representing the 22 women who have filed lawsuits against Watson, all of whom provided massage services to Watson.

Solis said Watson "robbed" her of her career.

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A massage therapist who is not suing Watson provided a detailed account of her experience with Watson to Jenny Vrentas of Sports Illustrated last month. The woman said Watson thrust his pelvis in the air suggestively during the massage and suggested she touch his penis. 

The account provided by the woman from the Sports Illustrated article, Solis and Baxley's statements and the descriptions in the lawsuits, depict Watson as a serial sexual abuser of women who uses his power to coerce them or attempt to coerce them into unwanted sexual acts. 

The Texans and the NFL have issued statements on the allegations, though both said they won't make any further statements until they've collected more information. Watson has denied all allegations, both in statement last month and a series of statements from his attorney, Rusty Hardin. 

The Houston Police Department said Friday it is investigating a criminal complaint it received concerning Watson but did not reveal the nature of the complaint. Buzbee said both Solis and another plaintiff have provided statements to the police.