Watson accusers settle lawsuit with Houston Texans


At least 30 women settled their claims with the NFL franchise

Thirty women who accused the Houston Texans of turning a blind eye to their allegations that ex-quarterback Deshaun Watson had sexually assaulted and harassed women during massage sessions have now settled legal claims against the NFL franchise.

The exact terms of the settlements between the Texans and each of the women are confidential, however, according to attorney Tony Buzbee who revealed news of the development to the AP.

Only one of the women filed a lawsuit against the franchise, but as others planned to make legal claims the Texans went ahead and made settlements with them.

Texans owners Janice McNair and Hannah and Cal McNair said in a statement that while the team didn’t have any knowledge of alleged misconduct from Watson, they were left “shocked and deeply saddened” when first learning about the accusations which led them to opt to resolve the claims “amicably”.

“This is not an admission of any wrongdoing, but instead a clear stand against any form of sexual assault and misconduct. We hope that today’s resolution will provide some form of closure to the parties involved, our fans and the Houston community at large.

“As an organization, we will now turn our focus to the future and doing what we can to ensure respect for all,” outlined the McNairs.

Separate lawsuits have seen 24 women accusing Watson, now with the Cleveland Browns, of exposing himself and then touching them with his penis or kissing them against their wishes as he received massages during his time with the Texans.

A woman also alleged that Watson forced her into performing oral sex on her, and Buzbee announced that 20 of those 24 settlements have already been settled.

In the lawsuit that was filed against the Texans last month, a woman accused the franchise and a number of its employees of being aware of Watson’s “known tendency to push boundaries during massage sessions”.

The lawsuit alleged that the Texans provided Watson with resources to carry out his acts, including rooms reserved at a Houston hotel, massage tables, and also a nondisclosure agreement that the women were told to sign and which allowed Watson “to further his misconduct with women”.

Buzbee acknowledged that there has been a “marked contrast” in the manner in which the Texans have addressed the allegations and the way in which Watson’s legal team has handled them.

Watson continues to claim his innocence. And while he signed a $230 million, five-year contract with the Browns in March after four years in Houston, Watson is currently waiting to see whether the NFL will pursue disciplinary action over the allegations and let him play next season.

The league has insisted that Watson should receive an indefinite suspension, but the players’ union protests that there are no grounds for such a ban as Watson did not commit any crimes.

Buzbee revealed hopes for the remaining four lawsuits to head to trial in spring next year.

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