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Deshaun Watson’s Lawyer Releases Statement Regarding Possible Settlement in Lawsuits

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIMay 14, 2021

AP Photo/Matt Patterson

The lawyer for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is currently the subject of 22 civil lawsuits by women alleging sexual assault or misconduct, issued a statement about the possibility of a settlement in the case. 

"We have made clear all along that there would be no settlement unless the terms are made public and all participants are allowed to speak in their own defense at all times," Rusty Hardin wrote. "We want none of the participants—the plaintiffs or Mr. Watson—muzzled by a settlement agreement." 

Hardin's statement comes after the lawyer representing the women, Tony Buzbee, said Wednesday a settlement was "not happening" (h/t Fox 26).

Buzbee also said some of his clients "did not feel like they were being respected" by the NFL after four women met with the league's chief investigator, Lisa Friel. 

The first lawsuit against Watson was filed March 16. 

The most recent lawsuit was filed April 14. A freelance make-up artist said Watson reached out to her for a massage on Instagram and accused him of "manipulating the massage and her into sexual coercion," according to Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today.

One woman has withdrawn her suit for "privacy and security concerns," bringing the total number of lawsuits Watson currently faces to 22 (h/t Schrotenboer). 

Hardin, in April, called the majority of the lawsuits "an opportunity for a money grab," per ESPN's Sarah Barshop.

In a letter sent to season-ticket holders in April, the McNair family acknowledged the ongoing investigation. 

"While we await the conclusion of these investigations, we express our strong stance against any form of sexual assault," the letter read. "Our family and the entire Houston Texans organization are deeply troubled by any form of abuse and we condemn this type of behavior."

This is just one uncertainty facing the 25-year-old as he heads into his fifth NFL season. In January, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Watson requested a trade out of the organization, as he was frustrated with the team's decision to hire general manager Nick Caserio without consulting him, per Barshop.

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