Deshaun Watson’s accusers set for HBO interview

Deshaun Watson’s accusers set for HBO interview

HOUSTON — After three days of questioning in what attorney Rusty Hardin called a “very detailed and aggressive investigation,” Deshaun Watson’s meetings with the NFL may not be over.

Hardin told Yahoo Sports that the Cleveland Browns quarterback may have to sit down for another day of questions at some point as the league’s investigation nears conclusion. Watson’s meetings with NFL officials began in Houston on Monday and continued Wednesday, exploring the 22 civil lawsuits pending against him in which women allege a series of sexual misconduct or assault.

The interview took place on the precipice of several of Watson’s accusers preparing to go public in a joint interview with HBO’s Real Sports, which is set to air next week. Several women with pending civil lawsuits also met with the NFL. A league source told Yahoo Sports on Friday that investigators may request additional interviews with these complainants before making a decision on their findings.

Hardin declined to share details or describe the end of meetings with the NFL, but said Watson was focused on cooperating with investigators and proving he was innocent of the allegations made in the lawsuits and had nothing. made to violate the league’s personal conduct policy when interacting with its 22 accusers.

“Deshaun has and will continue to cooperate fully with the NFL in what is clearly a very detailed and aggressive investigation,” Hardin said. “He willingly answered every question for three long and tedious days, and there may be another day as well in the near future. The investigators were very prepared, obviously did a lot of research and work on the case and Deshaun was incredibly open and honest with them.

“The NFL’s investigation is ongoing and the timeline for its conclusion is up to them. We, in turn, intend to continue to cooperate as we seek to show them and everyone else that Deshaun has never acted inappropriately in any way, nor has he violated the NFL Code of Conduct in any way.

Deshaun Watson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, told Yahoo Sports that the Browns quarterback may have to meet again with NFL investigators.  (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Deshaun Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, told Yahoo Sports that the Browns quarterback may have to meet again with NFL investigators. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

This statement comes at a time when the public portion of civil suits is now expanding in a number of ways. Portions of Watson’s depositions in the civil cases have been leaked to the media over the past month, in incidents that breached the lawyers’ unspoken etiquette but were not illegal. So far, depositions in civil cases have not been sealed by presiding justices, making them available to the media or the NFL if opposing attorneys choose to take that step.

The meeting with Real Sports is also the first time that some of Watson’s accusers have been interviewed by national media. So far, the 22 women’s attorney, Tony Buzbee, has handled media inquiries or held press conferences with detailed statements from some of Watson’s accusers.

Real Sports detailed the upcoming interview in a press release on Friday, saying: “Several women who have accused Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct are sitting down for their first-ever national television interview. In the report, they detail the alleged abuse they suffered and share their reactions to Watson’s record-breaking $230 million contract with the Cleveland Browns.

This piece is scheduled to air on Tuesday.

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