Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson admitted in a pretrial deposition last week to sending an apology text to a massage therapist after crying at the end of their session, according to USA Today.
Watson is currently facing 22 civil lawsuits filed by massage therapists accusing the quarterback of sexual harassment and sexual assault that occurred during sessions from early 2020 through March 2021.
According to a partial transcript obtained by the newspaper, Watson said he contacted the massage therapist after her reaction, but said he didn’t know why she cried.
“Sorry you feel uncomfortable. Never intentions. Lmk if you want to work in the future. My apologies,” Watson’s text reads, according to the transcript.
According to USA Today, last week’s deposition was on behalf of Ashley Solis, who was the first woman to file a lawsuit against Watson last year. Solis did not respond to Watson’s message, according to the lawsuit.
In the deposition, the woman’s attorney, Tony Buzbee, asked Watson: “But do you know why you sent that apology text afterwards?”
Watson reportedly replied, “Yeah, because she had tears in her eyes, and I was trying to figure out what was going on. So, I assumed she was uncomfortable for some reason. And we We talked about working in the future. And so, I said, ‘We can work in the future. Let me know. And then I sent my apologies for why she had tears in her eyes. .
Watson’s alleged meeting with Solis took place on March 30, 2020 at his Houston-area home.
Watson has further pretrial depositions scheduled for June, but is not expected to go on trial with any of the 22 lawsuits until February, according to a reported agreement between plaintiffs and defense attorneys.
Watson has never been arrested or charged in connection with the cases. He has maintained his innocence since the allegations became public in March 2021 – and denied assaulting, harassing or disrespecting any woman during his introductory press conference with the Browns in March.
Watson had already faced 10 criminal complaints. In March, two separate grand juries decided not to indict him on criminal charges. That same month, the Browns traded for Watson and signed the former Texans quarterback to a record five-year, fully guaranteed, $230 million deal.
Watson is expected to meet the NFL in Texas this week as the quarterback still faces potential discipline from the league.
The NFL conducted its own investigation into Watson to determine whether he violated its code of conduct and did not provide a timeline for its investigation of Watson.