Deshaun Watson Doesn't Intend to Settle With Any of His Accusers

NFL quarterback Deshaun Watson, who was traded to the Cleveland Browns this week, said on Friday that he does not plan to settle any of the civil lawsuits filed against him, accusing the quarterback of sexual misconduct.

During an introductory press conference after the trade to the Browns became official, Watson was asked if he has any plans to settle the 22 civil suits that he is facing accusing him of alleged sexual misconduct.

"That's not my intent," Watson said in response. "My intent is to continue to clear my name as much as possible and that's what I'm focused on." The comments by Watson on Friday came shortly after learning that he would not face criminal charges in connection with the alleged incidents.

On March 11, a grand jury in Harris County, Texas declined to indict Watson on nine different criminal complaints, accusing him of sexual misconduct. Prosecutors decided not to present a 10th criminal complaint to the jury.

A few days later, on March 24, a second grand jury in Brazoria County, Texas came to a similar conclusion, deciding not to indict Watson on any of the criminal charges presented.

According to ESPN, in a statement, Brazoria County District Attorney Tom Selleck said, "After a careful and thorough review of the facts and evidence documented in the reports prepared by the Brazoria County Sheriff's Office and the Houston Police Department, as well as hearing testimony from witnesses, the Grand Jury for Brazoria County has declined to charge Deshaun Watson with any crimes. Accordingly, this matter is closed."

However, Watson still faces 22 civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct, with depositions currently being taken Newsweek previously reported that a report from the Houston Police Department said a complainant told police that Watson "touched her with his penis and ejaculated causing semen to touch her arm and hand." The accusations allegedly occurred during a massage appointment in 2020.

Since Watson was first accused of sexual misconduct in 2021, he has maintained his innocence.

During the introductory press conference on Friday, Watson said, "I've never assaulted, I've never disrespected and I've never harassed any woman in my life. I wasn't raised that way. My mom, my auntie, didn't raise me that way. Over the course of my life, that's not in my DNA. As far as the details of actually the things they're alleging, I can't speak on that because there's an ongoing investigation. But in the future, once everything is resolved, I will sit down and love to talk about it."

"I was raised to be genuine and to respect everyone around me...I've never done the things that these people are alleging," Watson added.

Browns' general manager Andrew Berry also spoke during the press conference on Friday and said that the team was advised by their attorneys against reaching out to the 22 women who accused Watson of sexual misconduct, "out of concern that it would be considered interfering with a criminal investigation."

In addition to the civil litigation, Watson is also facing an NFL investigation, which could result in a suspension if any wrongdoing is found.

Newsweek reached out to the attorney for the 22 women, Tony Buzbee, for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Deshaun Watson
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson said on Friday that he does not intend to settle with any of the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct. Above, Watson is seen during a press conference at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on March 25, 2022 in Berea, Ohio. Nick Cammett/Getty