Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson said one woman cried after giving him a massage, according to a transcript of his deposition last week during a pretrial hearing.
Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today obtained a partial transcript of the hearing in which Watson said he apologized via text message to one of the 22 women who have filed civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault or misconduct.
"Yes, because she was teary-eyed," Watson said when asked whether he knew why he apologized to the woman. "And I was trying to figure out what was going on. So, I assumed that she was uncomfortable in whatever reason. And we talked about working in the future. And so, I said, 'We can work in the future. Just let me know.' And then I sent my apologies as whatever reason she was teary-eyed for."
The woman, Ashley Solis, did not reply to Watson's apology. She was the first woman to sue Watson over allegations of sexual assault or misconduct.
While Watson is not facing criminal charges after two grand juries declined to press charges following 10 police investigations, the lawsuits are ongoing and the NFL is currently investigating him under the league's personal conduct policy.
He has denied all accusations of sexual assault or misconduct.
The Browns traded 2022, 2023 and 2024 first-round picks, along with a 2023 third-round pick and fourth-round selections in 2022 and 2024 for Watson despite the allegations. The team also gave him a new, fully guaranteed $230 million contract.
"We have done extensive investigative, legal and reference work over the past several months to provide us with the appropriate information needed to make an informed decision about pursuing him and moving forward with him as our quarterback," Browns general manager Andrew Berry said in a March statement. "Deshaun has been among the very best at the position and he understands the work needed to re-establish himself on and off the field in Cleveland. We are confident that he will make positive contributions to our team and community as we support his return to football."
A final verdict in the lawsuits, should they go to trial, is not expected until well into next year. Attorneys for the women and Watson agreed to have no trial date set before February, which would coincide with the end of the football season.
Watson has further depositions scheduled for June.