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Browns QB Deshaun Watson settles 20 of 24 sexual misconduct lawsuits

Browns QB Deshaun Watson settles 20 of 24 sexual misconduct lawsuits
Cleveland Browns' Deshaun Watson settles 20 out of 24 lawsuits by women accusing the quarterback of sexual misconduct during massage sessions, according to their attorney Tuesday. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

June 21 (UPI) -- Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has settled with 20 out of 24 women who accused him of sexual misconduct during massage sessions, their attorney announced Tuesday.

"Today, I announce that all cases against Deshaun Watson, with the exception of four, have been settled," attorney Tony Buzbee said in a statement.

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"We are working through the paperwork related to those settlements. Once we have done so, those particular cases will be dismissed," Buzbee said. "The terms and amounts of the settlements are confidential. We won't comment further on the settlements or those case."

The civil settlements come after two grand juries declined to pursue criminal charges in March over the assault allegations while Watson was quarterback for the Houston Texans.

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Watson was traded to the Cleveland Browns days later and signed to a guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract.

Police began to investigate Watson in March 2021, after one woman claimed the quarterback became pushy and aggressive during a massage appointment at her home a year earlier. The other women came forward with similar stories within a month.

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In his statement Tuesday, Buzbee pointed out that the first woman to accuse Watson is one of the four who has not settled with the quarterback.

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"Ashley Solis is one of the heroes of this story. Her case has not settled and thus her story and that of the other three brave women will continue. I look forward to trying these cases in due course," Buzbee said.

Earlier this month, Buzbee said his law firm planned to add the Houston Texans as defendants in some of the lawsuits.

"What has become clear is that the Houston Texans organization and their contracting 'massage therapy company' facilitated Deshaun Watson's conduct," Buzbee said in a statement June 8. "In many of these cases, the Texans provided the opportunity for this conduct to occur."

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Watson has maintained his innocence and told reporters last week during the Browns minicamp that he looked forward to clearing his name.

"I never harassed anyone. I never disrespected anyone. I never forced anyone to do anything," Watson said.

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