HOUSTON (WGHP) — The Houston Texans have agreed to settlements with 30 different women regarding allegations that the franchise enabled former quarterback Deshaun Watson’s alleged assaults and misconduct during massage therapy sessions.
“Today all of the women who have made, or intended to make, claims against the Houston Texans organization have resolved their claims,” Attorney Tony Buzbee said in a statement. “The terms of the settlements, to include the amounts paid each, are confidential.
Buzbee went on to praise Ashley Solis and the other women who spoke out against Watson for their courage.
Read Buzbee’s full statement on the settlement agreements:
“Today all of the women who have made, or intended to make, claims against the Houston Texans organization have resolved their claims. The terms of the settlements, to include the amounts paid each, are confidential. I will have no further comment on the allegations or the Texans’ alleged role, other than to say that there is a marked contrast in the way in which the Texans addressed these allegations, and the way in which Watson’s team has done so. As has been previously reported, only one of the thirty women who made allegations against the Texans filed a formal lawsuit. That particular lawsuit will be dismissed with prejudice as soon as the appropriate settlement paperwork is complete. It takes an incredible amount of fortitude for a victim of sexual misconduct to come forward. It is even more difficult when the alleged wrongdoer is famous, rich or powerful. As I’ve said before, these cases started with one phone call, from one brave and strong woman: Ashley Solis. Because of her willingness to speak out, soon others followed. I admire Ashley Solis and the other women who were courageous enough to make their voices heard. I hope their bravery serves as an example to others who have been subjected to similar conduct. Every story has a hero— in this story that hero is Ashley Solis and the other women who, despite the ridicule, criticism, and vitriol directed at them, endured. The four filed cases against Deshaun Watson will continue. We hope to try them all in the spring of next year. In the mean-time we will continue to do the important work to prepare for such.”
The McNair family, which includes owner Janice McNair, CEO Cal McNair and Vice President of the Houston Texans Foundation Hannah McNair, also issued a statement via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport
The family says the settlement “is not an admission of any wrongdoing, but instead a clear stand against any form of sexual assault and misconduct.“
Read the McNair family’s full statement on the settlement agreements:
“We were shocked and deeply saddened when we first learned of the allegations against our then franchise quarterback in March 2021. Although our organization did not have any knowledge of Deshaun Watson’s alleged misconduct, we have intentionally chosen to resolve this matter 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.”
According to ProFootball Talk’s Mike Florio, on June 27, the day the lawsuit was filed, the petition stated that “at least 30 different women” were allegedly the subjects of “unwanted sexual advances and outright sexual assault by Watson” during massage sessions.
As reported by Around the NFL, the Texans were named in the lawsuit. The accusations state that members of the franchise “knew or should have known of Watson’s conduct.”
While only one lawsuit was filed on June 27, Buzbee said that more lawsuits were likely to come because the “overwhelming evidence collected indicating that the Houston Texans enabled Watson’s behavior is incredibly damning.”
The Texans responded on June 27 as well, stating, “We are aware of the lawsuit filed against us today. Since March 2021, we have fully supported and complied with law enforcement and the various investigations. We will continue to take the necessary steps to address the allegations against our organization.”
A June 7 report from the New York Times’ Jenny Vrentas alleged that the Texans not only provided a venue for Watson’s massage therapy sessions but that they also gave Watson a nondisclosure agreement after a woman accused him of misconduct.
Buzbee is also representing 24 women who have filed civil lawsuits against Watson. 20 of those lawsuits have been settled.
Amid the allegations, the Texans traded Watson to the Cleveland Browns in March. After the trade, Watson signed a five-year, $230 million contract extension with the Browns.
A disciplinary hearing was held by the NFL and the NFL Player’s Association from June 28-30 to discuss a potential suspension related to Watson’s alleged misconduct. Former United States District Judge Sue L. Robinson presided over the hearing and has yet to reach a verdict on a possible suspension.