[ad_1]

Deshaun Watson’s attorney says the NFL has completed its interviews with the Cleveland Browns quarterback over the sexual misconduct claims contained in the 22 lawsuits he currently faces in Texas ahead, and now HBO is prepared to release interviews with two of his accusers on Tuesday night.

Watson spoke with league investigators for three days, according to his attorney Rusty Hardin. The NFL has refrained from commenting publicly about the ongoing investigation, although commissioner Roger Goodell said last month that there was no timeframe on any possible ruling regarding Watson.

Hardin told the ‘Between the Lines‘ podcast that he thinks the league will wrap up its investigation this summer.

‘I don’t have a deadline,’ Hardin said. ‘I’d suspect the NFL wants to conclude its investigation sometime this summer. Whether that is June or whether that’s August or July, I have no idea. That’s their schedule.’

The 22 lawsuits filed last year claim Watson forced two women to perform oral sex on him, ejaculated on three women, and forcibly kissed another, while 18 women say he touched them with his penis during massages.

Watson has denied the allegations from the women, most of whom worked for him as massage therapists. Two separate grand juries in Texas have declined to press charges against him.

Despite that, the 26-year-old still faces potential discipline by the league, which is independently investigating his actions while he was with the Houston Texans.

Deshaun Watson's attorney says the NFL has completed its interviews with the Cleveland Browns quarterback over the sexual misconduct claims contained in the 22 lawsuits he currently faces in Texas ahead, and now HBO is prepared to release interviews with two of his accusers on Tuesday night

Watson spoke with league investigators for three days, according to his attorney Rusty Hardin (pictured). The NFL has refrained from commenting publicly about the ongoing investigation, although commissioner Roger Goodell said last month that there was no timeframe on any possible ruling regarding Watson

Deshaun Watson’s attorney says the NFL has completed its interviews with the Cleveland Browns quarterback over the sexual misconduct claims contained in the 22 lawsuits he currently faces in Texas ahead, and now HBO is prepared to release interviews with two of his accusers on Tuesday night. Watson (left) spoke with league investigators for three days, according to his attorney Rusty Hardin (right)

Watson accuser Ashley Solis (right) speaks with HBO's Soledad O'Brien about the Browns quarterback for an upcoming episode of Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel that airs Tuesday

Watson accuser Ashley Solis (right) speaks with HBO’s Soledad O’Brien about the Browns quarterback for an upcoming episode of Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel that airs Tuesday 

Since the lawsuits were filed, Watson was traded from the Texans to the Browns, who signed him to a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contact.

Interestingly, the deal pays Watson only $1 million in 2022, when he could face a potential suspension, and $46 million annually over the final four years.

This way, if Watson is suspended in 2022, he’ll lose around $60,000 per game missed.

See also  Jessica Alves sends temperatures soaring in skintight mini dress and heels

For comparison, were his contract structured evenly over the next five years, he’d lose more than $2 million for every game he’s suspended.

While his testimony to league officials may be over, Watson could be facing a long week with HBO prepared to air interviews with two of his accusers on Tuesday night’s episode of Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel.

‘Several women who have accused Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct sit down for their first ever national TV interview,’ read a press release from HBO. ‘In the report, they detail the alleged abuse they suffered and share their reactions to Watson’s record-breaking $230 million contract with the Cleveland Browns.’

An HBO spokesperson later clarified to DailyMail.com that Real Sports spoke with two of the accusers.

The press release contains a photo of Ashley Solis, who was the first of Watson’s accusers to come forward last year.

Ashley Solis, second right, the first woman to file sexual assault claims against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, gives a statement during a news conference with attorney Tony Buzbee and his legal team, Tuesday, April 6, 2021, in Houston

Ashley Solis, second right, the first woman to file sexual assault claims against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, gives a statement during a news conference with attorney Tony Buzbee and his legal team, Tuesday, April 6, 2021, in Houston

Last year, Hardin called the claims against Watson ‘meritless’ and alleged they were made following a failed attempt to blackmail his client for $30,000. He previously accused the plaintiffs of being motivated by financial gain, saying that Solis originally sought a $100,000 settlement from his client.

Solis responded to that accusation during her April 2021 press conference.

‘People say I’m doing this just for money,’ Solis said. ‘That is false. I come forward now in hopes Deshaun Watson does not hurt another woman.

‘We were all deceived into thinking Deshaun Watson was a good guy, and unfortunately we know that good guys can do terrible things,’ she added.

According to Solis’s filing, which was obtained by DailyMail.com, Watson exposed himself during his massage in March of 2020 before adjusting his position to force his erect penis into her hand.

‘Plaintiff abruptly ended the massage and asked Watson to leave her house,’ read the filing.

Buzbee has shared a text message that he claims was sent by Watson to apologize to Solis

Buzbee has shared a text message that he claims was sent by Watson to apologize to Solis

Solis claimed to be crying at the end of her encounter with Watson – a fact that Watson reportedly corroborated during pretrial depositions earlier this month, according to USA Today.

‘But you know why you sent that text apology afterwards?’ plaintiffs’ attorney Tony Buzbee asked Watson during depositions, according to a partial transcript obtained by USA Today.

See also  Christine Quinn flaunts her svelte figure in a zebra bikini during St Barts getaway

‘Yes, because she was teary-eyed,’ Watson replied. ‘And I was trying to figure out what was going on. So, I assumed that she was uncomfortable in whatever reason. And we talked about working in the future. And so, I said, ‘We can work in the future. Just let me know.’ And then I sent my apologies as whatever reason she was teary-eyed for.’

The text message, which Buzbee previously shared on social media, purportedly shows Watson apologizing to Solis.

‘Sorry about you feeling uncomfortable,’ read the message. ‘Never were the intentions. Lmk [let me know] if you want to work in the future. My apologies.’

Watson’s $230 million contract with the Browns was ‘another crushing blow to survivors’ of abuse, according to another accuser, Lauren Baxley. 

In March, Baxley penned an open letter about Watson for The Daily Beast after two grand juries in Texas declined to press charges against the three-time Pro Bowler. She is one of six women to file the doomed criminal complaints against Watson.

‘We shared the hope that he would be stopped – that somehow, he would not be enabled or emboldened to hurt even more women in the ways he hurt us,’ wrote Baxley, who has been identified by name but not pictured publicly since suing Watson last year.’

Specifically, Baxley took issue with prosecutors’ decision to seek a grand jury indictment for Watson rather than charging him directly.

‘The prosecutors led me to believe that they needed a grand jury’s approval to indict Watson on the charges of indecent assault, which is a misdemeanor offense,’ Baxley wrote. ‘That was not the case, and they let us down.’

‘The worst of the women-haters came out, declaring the no-bills proof that we were ‘prostitutes’ all along,’ she wrote, adding that she and the other plaintiffs are now regularly accused of being sex workers seeking a payday.’

Some allegedly wished Watson’s accuses would be raped or even killed. 

‘I wrestle with feeling it would be easier to not exist,’ wrote Baxley. ‘Many survivors share these feelings, and some of Watson’s fans have expressed that they would like for us to be raped, imprisoned, or killed.’ 

‘As someone who has faithfully strived to maintain the highest level of professionalism, and as someone who—in my entire career—has never experienced the type of behavior that Watson displayed, comments like that are not only infuriating and untrue, they are wholly shifting the blame from a serial predator onto unwitting and unwilling women,’ she wrote.

See also  Kellyanne Conway says husband George broke their vows

Baxley stressed that ‘a failure to charge or convict a crime does not equate to innocence’ and that testimony from Watson’s accusers was ‘deemed ‘highly credible’ by prosecutors and the detectives.’

Lauren Baxley, who has been identified by name but not pictured publicly since suing Watson last year, was among the accusers who filed criminal complaints against him in Harris County, Texas. Those women appeared in a Houston court on March 11 (pictured), when it was revealed that a grand jury would not be indicting Watson on misdemeanor indecent assault

Lauren Baxley, who has been identified by name but not pictured publicly since suing Watson last year, was among the accusers who filed criminal complaints against him in Harris County, Texas. Those women appeared in a Houston court on March 11 (pictured), when it was revealed that a grand jury would not be indicting Watson on misdemeanor indecent assault

She also appeared to allude to Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, an Akron, Ohio native who penned an emoji-laden tweet celebrating the Browns’ acquisition of Watson on March 18.

‘I would include a certain NBA player along with the other disappointing excuses of men who in one breath may bring awareness to the struggles of marginalized Black women, and in the next praise the elevation of a man who abused dozens of them,’ she wrote.

In addition to the lawsuits, Watson still faces an NFL investigation, which has no timetable, league commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters on Tuesday. 

‘We’re going to let the facts lead us, find every fact we can,’ Goodell said at the owner’s meetings in Palm Beach. ‘At least there is a resolution from the criminal side of it. Our investigation hopefully will have access to more information. We will speak to everyone who can give us a perspective.’ 

Watson made his introductory press conference with the Browns brass last week, saying that he has ‘never assaulted, disrespected, or harassed any woman.’

Browns general manager Andrew Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski both said they understood the criticism surrounding their acquisition of Watson and his contract. However, they insisted they’re confident in ‘Deshaun the person’ following a five-month team-funded investigation that began last fall, when Watson was being benched in Houston in the aftermath of the allegations.

Browns general manager Andrew Berry (left) and head coach Kevin Stefanski (right) both said they understood the criticism surrounding their acquisition of Watson and his contract. However, they insisted they're confident in 'Deshaun the person' following a five-month team-funded investigation that began last fall, when Watson was being benched in Houston in the aftermath of the allegations

Browns general manager Andrew Berry (left) and head coach Kevin Stefanski (right) both said they understood the criticism surrounding their acquisition of Watson and his contract. However, they insisted they’re confident in ‘Deshaun the person’ following a five-month team-funded investigation that began last fall, when Watson was being benched in Houston in the aftermath of the allegations

[ad_2]

Source link