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Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson hit with another sexual misconduct lawsuit while on NFL suspension

Two dozen women previously alleged he was sexually inappropriate during massage therapy sessions.
Deshaun Watson  walks off of the field during an NFL preseason football game in Cleveland in August.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson.Kirk Irwin / AP file
/ Source: The Associated Press

BEREA, Ohio — Suspended Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson’s status with the NFL has not been affected by a new civil lawsuit filed by a woman accusing him of sexual misconduct two years ago, the league said Friday.

Watson is serving an 11-game suspension for alleged sexual misconduct while he played for the Houston Texans. Two dozen women previously alleged he was sexually inappropriate during massage therapy sessions.

Representatives for Watson did not immediately respond to an NBC News request for comment.

On Thursday, the woman filed a lawsuit in Texas that alleges Watson pressured her into performing a sex act after a massage in 2020. Watson has settled 23 of 24 previous lawsuits filed against him. It was unclear if the latest suit was filed by a new accuser. 

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the latest lawsuit does not impact Watson’s standing. The three-time Pro Bowler returned to the Browns’ training facility this week for the first time since his suspension began on Aug. 30.

“We will monitor developments in the newly-filed litigation; and any conduct that warrants further investigation or possible additional sanctions would be addressed within the Personal Conduct Policy,” McCarthy said in an email.

Watson is only permitted to attend meetings with the Browns and work out as he moves toward a possible return, according to the suspension imposed by the NFL. He is not allowed to practice until Nov. 14, and as long as he fulfills conditions of his settlement with the league, he can return fully on Nov. 28 and would be eligible to play on Dec. 4 when the Browns visit the Texans.

Watson agreed to the 11-game ban, a $5 million fine and to undergo treatment and counseling by an independent group.

The Browns traded for Watson in March and signed him to a five-year, $240 million contract.