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30 women settle Deshaun Watson-related claims against Houston Texans, lawyer says

The women accused the Texans of turning a blind eye to allegations that Watson, now the quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, sexually assaulted women during massage sessions.
Cleveland Browns Mandatory Minicamp
Deshaun Watson #4 of the Cleveland Browns runs a drill during the Cleveland Browns mandatory minicamp on June 14, 2022 in Berea, Ohio.Nick Cammett / Diamond Images/Getty Images file
/ Source: The Associated Press

Thirty women who had accused the Houston Texans of turning a blind eye to allegations that Deshaun Watson was sexually assaulting and harassing women during massage sessions have settled their legal claims against the team, their attorney said Friday.

The terms of the settlements reached between each of the women and the Texans are confidential, said attorney Tony Buzbee.

While only one of the women had filed a lawsuit against the team, the others had also intended to make legal claims against the Texans before the settlements were reached, Buzbee said.

In a statement, Texans owners Janice McNair and Hannah and Cal McNair said while the team did not have any knowledge of Watson’s alleged misconduct, they were “shocked and deeply saddened” when they first learned about the accusations and chose to resolve the claims against the team “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,” the McNairs said in their statement.

In separate lawsuits, 24 women accused Watson of exposing himself, touching them with his penis or kissing them against their will during massage appointments while he played for the Texans. One woman alleged Watson forced her to perform oral sex. Last month, Buzbee announced 20 of those 24 lawsuits have been settled.

Watson, who has since been traded to the Cleveland Browns, has denied any wrongdoing and vowed to clear his name. Watson is facing possible discipline from the NFL over the allegations.

Watson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, said on Friday that the Texans' settlement had no bearing on his client.

“What the Texans decided to do in their own self interest is between them and Mr. Buzbee," Hardin said. "It has no significance to Deshaun’s cases at all.”