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Ashley Solis Says Deshaun Watson's $230M Browns Contract Was 'Like a Big Screw You'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 24, 2022

Nick Cammett/Getty Images

Two of the women who accused Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual assault and misconduct, Ashley Solis and Kyla Hayes, were interviewed for an episode of HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel set to air on Tuesday night.

Solis said the five-year, $230 million contract Watson signed with the Browns this offseason after he was traded to the team was a slap in the face.

"It's just like a big screw you," she said (h/t Jake Trotter of ESPN). "That's what it feels like. That we don't care. He can run and throw, and that's what we care about."

"It was sick to me," Hayes added. "I felt like he's being rewarded for bad behavior."

Both women described Watson's alleged inappropriate sexual behavior during massage sessions with them.

"As I'm working, he deliberately grabs himself and put his penis on my hand," Solis said (h/t Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com). "And I pulled my hand away instantly and I started crying. And I told him that I'm done. I don't wanna do this anymore."

Hayes said Watson "wanted me to kinda make a V motion in his pelvic area. So go across his stomach to his thighs, back to his stomach. I just kept massaging and did what he asked until his penis kept touching me repeatedly as I did it. He was moving his penis back and forth as my hands moved as well."

Hayes said Watson eventually ejaculated, calling it "mortifying and embarrassing and disgusting."

Solis also said she felt as though Watson threatened her after the massage.

"He just said, 'I know you have a career to protect. And I know you don't want anyone messing with it just like I don't want anyone messing with mine,'" she told Real Sports. "To me, that's when, that's when I got really scared. ... That sounded like a threat to me."

One of Watson's lawyers, Leah Graham, told HBO that Watson had sex with three of the massage therapists he visited, but each encounter was consensual and occurred after a massage session completed. She said Watson did not go into those sessions with the intent to have sex.

"As he testified in his depositions last week, yes, he has no regrets because he did nothing wrong," Graham added. "He did nothing wrong in these massages. And although—to your first question, 'How can he be innocent?' I think the real question is, 'What evidence is there of any guilt?'"

Watson, 26, is facing civil lawsuits from 22 women, including Solis and Hayes, who have accused him of sexual assault and similar inappropriate behavior during massage therapy sessions. Two separate grand juries in Texas, however, declined to pursue criminal charges against the quarterback.

The Browns quarterback has maintained his innocence. One of his attorneys, Rusty Hardin, told Cabot that Watson declined HBO's interview request since the NFL is currently conducting an investigation into the accusations.

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