Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has settled all but four lawsuits against him, attorney Tony Buzbee said in a statement Tuesday.
Since March 16, 2021, 25 lawsuits have been filed against Watson, alleging sexual assault and other inappropriate behavior during massage sessions. Of these 25, one was dropped by the plaintiff when the judge ruled that her motion should be amended with her name. The other 20, Buzbee said, have been settled.
“We are working on documents related to these settlements,” Buzbee said in a statement. “Once we do, these individual cases will be dismissed. The terms and amounts of the settlements are confidential. We will not comment further on the settlements or these cases.”
Buzbee noted that Ashley Solis, the first woman to file a lawsuit against Watson and the first to speak publicly and identify herself as a plaintiff, is not one of the 20 women to be settled.
“…Ashley Solis is one of the heroes of this story. Her case is unsettled and so her story and that of the other three brave women will continue. I look forward to judging these cases in due course, in accordance to other case obligations and the court schedule,” he said.
Although two grand juries in Texas declined to prosecute Watson earlier this year, the NFL is investigating whether he violated its code of conduct, and the league interviewed the quarterback in person last month as part of his investigation. At the league’s spring meeting, commissioner Roger Goodell said he believed the NFL was nearing the end of its investigation, but could not give a timeline for when a decision might be made. .
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Tuesday that “today’s development has no impact on the collectively-bargained disciplinary process.”
Buzbee said in his statement that without “the courage and willingness of Solis to come forward, the NFL would not currently be considering discipline; there would be no review of how teams might knowingly or unknowingly allow certain behaviors. sports teams would not review their personnel selection processes; and this important story would not have made the sports headlines for over a year.”
The Houston Texans traded Watson to the Browns in March in exchange for a package that included three first-round picks after the first grand jury announced it would not indict Watson on criminal charges.
Last week, Watson told a press conference that he does not regret any of his actions, but admitted he regrets the impact the allegations have had on those around him.
“I understand that I have regrets about the impact that [it’s had] on the community and people outside of myself,” Watson said. “And that includes my family. This includes this organization. This includes my teammates in this locker room who have to answer these questions. That includes the Cleveland Browns fanbase. This includes men, women, everyone around the world. That’s one thing I regret is the impact it had on so many people. It’s hard to deal with.”
ESPN’s Jake Trotter contributed to this report.