30 Deshawn Watson accusers reach deal with Texans

The Houston Texans have come to terms with 30 women who have accused NFL quarterback Deshawn Watson of sexually harassing them during massage sessions, according to Tony Busby, a lawyer representing women.

Last month, one of Watson’s accusers filed a lawsuit against the Texans, Watson’s former employer, alleging that the organization “turned a blind eye” to Watson’s behavior towards female massage therapists while he played for the team. She is the only plaintiff to file a lawsuit against the Texans, but Buzby’s statement said the settlement is with “all women who have filed or intend to file lawsuits against the Houston Texans organization.”

Twenty-four women have filed lawsuits against Watson alleging he assaulted or harassed them during massage sessions between 2020 and 2021, when he was on the Texan list. Watson, who denies wrongdoing, settled 20 of those lawsuits last month. The identities of the other six women who reached an agreement with the Texans are unknown, and Buzby declined to share any further details about their claims to Watson or the team.

“I will not comment further on the allegations or the alleged role of the Texans other than to say that there is a marked contrast between how the Texans responded to these allegations and how Watson’s team did,” Buzby said. said.

Buzby said the terms of the settlement, including the financial amount, are confidential.

The Texans did not immediately respond to a request for comment. An NFL spokesperson declined to comment on whether the league would investigate the Texans or whether the organization could face disciplinary action.

News of the women’s settlement with the Texans comes as Watson awaits a decision on whether he will be punished by the NFL, and if so, how, following a three-day hearing last month before an arbitrator jointly appointed by the league and NFL players’ association. Two Texas Grand Juries declined to indict Watson in a criminal case in March. After the first grand jury declined to prosecute, and before the second grand jury did, Cleveland Browns traded for Watson and signed him to an unprecedented, fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract.

Before one of Watson’s accusers filed suit against the Texans, New York Times investigation revealed that the team provided the venue that Watson used for some of the massage sessions that resulted in civil or criminal lawsuits. A team representative also provided him with a non-disclosure agreement after the woman who later sued him threatened to expose his behavior online.

Buzzby said the woman’s lawsuit against the Texans would be dismissed with prejudice once the settlement papers were finalized. Four lawsuits against Watson are still pending, including a lawsuit filed by a woman who filed a lawsuit against Texans, and the settlement with Texans does not appear to affect these cases.

Buzzby reiterated that “the four cases filed against Deshawn Watson will continue” and that all four cases are expected to go to court in the spring of 2023.