30 women alleging sexual misconduct against Deshaun Watson settle claims with Houston Texans organization

HOUSTON – All of the women who have made, or intended to make, claims against the Houston Texans organization for its alleged role involving the reported sexual misconduct of former Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson have resolved their claims, Houston attorney Tony Buzbee announced Friday. The terms of the settlements, to include the amounts paid each, are confidential.

Watson was accused by more than two dozen women in 2021 of being lewd and/ or sexually offensive during scheduled massage therapy sessions. Watson found and contacted most of the women on Instagram, instead of using the trained professional sports massage therapists provided by his NFL team.

Watson, who is represented by attorney Rusty Hardin, has not been charged with a criminal offense, but civil suits were filed on behalf of the women, who are all represented by Tony Buzbee.

Buzbee vowed that he would not stop until he sought justice on their behalf. In regard to the lawsuit involving the Texans, he released a statement Friday which read, in part:

“I will have no further comment on the allegations or the Texans’ 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 previously reported, only one of the 30 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, and 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 woman 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 woman 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 meantime, we will continue to do the important work to prepare for such.”

From the beginning, both Watson and his attorney admitted that Watson did either have sex, or engaged in some type of consensual sexual activity, with some of the women, but denied forcing any masseuse to do anything against her will. Hardin even came under scrutiny after he publicly said during a radio interview that receiving a “happy ending” was not a crime.

The Houston Texans released this statement from Janice McNair, Hannah and Cal McNair:

“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.”


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About the Authors:

Mother of two. Award-winning lover of digital storytelling, sparked by my fascination of being a fashionable gossip like my favorite "Willona Woods" character from "Good Times." On the serious side, president of the Houston Association of Black Journalists and dedicated community servant. Happy to share the news with you each and every day!

A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 3, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.