Texans Settle Lawsuits with 30 Women amid Deshaun Watson Allegations

Adam WellsJuly 15, 2022

Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Houston Texans have reached settlements with 30 different women who said the team enabled Deshaun Watson's alleged sexual assault or misconduct during massage therapy sessions.

Attorney Tony Buzbee issued a statement on behalf of the women after the settlement was announced:

"Today all of the women who have made, or intended to make, claims against the Houston Texans organization have resolved their claims. The terms of the settlements, to include the amounts paid each, are confidential. I will have no further comment on the allegations or the Texans’ alleged role, other than to say that there is a marked contrast in the way in which the Texans addressed these allegations, and the way in which Watson’s team has done so. As has been previously reported, only one of the thirty women who made allegations against the Texans filed a formal lawsuit. That particular lawsuit will be dismissed with prejudice as soon as the appropriate settlement paperwork is complete."

The Texans also released a statement, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

From the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Texans?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Texans</a>: <a href="https://t.co/APBsClwhwZ">https://t.co/APBsClwhwZ</a> <a href="https://t.co/y9ny9egL7N">pic.twitter.com/y9ny9egL7N</a>

ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio noted June 27, the day the lawsuit was filed, that the petition states "at least thirty different women" were allegedly subjected to "unwanted sexual advances and outright sexual assault by Watson" during massage sessions.

The Texans were also named in the lawsuit, with accusations that members of the organization individuals within the organization "knew or should have known of Watson's conduct."

There was only one known lawsuit filed against the Texans, but Buzbee said at the time there "will likely be many" more because of the "overwhelming evidence collected indicating that the Houston Texans enabled Watson's behavior is incredibly damning."

"We are aware of the lawsuit filed against us today," the Texans said in a statement June 27. "Since March 2021, we have fully supported and complied with law enforcement and the various investigations. We will continue to take the necessary steps to address the allegations against our organization."

According to a June 7 report from Jenny Vrentas of the New York Times, the Texans provided a venue for some of the appointments Watson had with the masseuses. They were also alleged to have given Watson a nondisclosure agreement after a woman accused him of misconduct.

Buzbee also represents 24 women who have filed civil lawsuits against Watson. The Cleveland Browns quarterback has settled 20 of the lawsuits.

Nakia Cooper of KPRC in Houston reported June 13 that two more lawsuits would be filed against Watson, bringing the total number up to 26. However, those suits have not yet been filed.

The Texans traded Watson to the Cleveland Browns in March. The Browns subsequently gave him a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract extension.

A disciplinary hearing before the NFL and NFL Players Association to determine a potential suspension for Watson was held over three days from June 28-30. Former United States district court judge Sue L. Robinson, who was jointly appointed as the league's disciplinary officer by the NFL and NFLPA, presided over the hearing. Robinson has yet to make a final decision on a possible suspension.

Watson sat out the entire 2021 season while on the Texans roster. He was on the 53-man roster, but the team kept him inactive for all 17 games during the regular season.


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