Berea, Ohio – Deshaun Watson reiterated Tuesday that he is innocent of the numerous allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior during the massages directed against him. However, while the Cleveland Browns quarterback said again that he has no regrets for his actions, he admitted that he regrets the impact the allegations have had on the people around him.
“I understand that I feel as much remorse as the effect of it [it’s had] “On society and people outside of me only,” Watson said. This includes my family. This organization includes. That includes my teammates in this locker room who have to answer these questions. Includes Cleveland Browns fan base. This includes males, females and everyone around the world. That’s one thing I regret is the impact it’s had on so many people. It’s hard to deal with.”
In just the past 15 days, two civil cases have been filed against Watson, bringing the total number of active lawsuits against him alleging inappropriate sexual conduct during massages to 24.
Attorney Tony Busby, who represents the women suing Watson, told WEWS-TV in Cleveland on Monday that two other women plan to file lawsuits against the quarterback. Busby said an Atlanta attorney referred one of the women and that the other woman reached out to him after watching the HBO episode “Real Sports” that aired a story on Watson.
The New York Times reported last week that Watson booked appointments with at least 66 different women over a 17-month period, from fall 2019 through spring 2021. A woman sued Watson but withdrew the complaint; Two women filed a criminal complaint against Watson but did not sue him; at least 15 therapists have issued statements of support to Watson at the request of his attorneys; No fewer than four therapists have contracted with the Houston Texans; Five women identified by the plaintiffs’ attorneys during the investigation of their cases; And at least 15 other women have confirmed their appointment with Watson through interviews and records reviewed by The Times.
A few of these additional women spoke publicly for the first time to The Times. One of the women, who did not sue Watson or complain to the police, told The Times that he was persistent in his requests to perform sexual acts during the massage.
On March 25 during his inaugural press conference, Watson said he “doesn’t regret” any of his actions during any of the massages. On Tuesday, Watson continued to deny wrongdoing: “Like I said, I’ve never assaulted anyone. I’ve never harassed anyone. I’ve never respected anyone. I’ve never forced anyone to do anything.”
Although two grand juries in Texas declined to pursue criminal charges against Watson earlier this year, the NFL is investigating whether he violated its own code of conduct and interviewed the quarterback in person last month as part of of achieving it. At the league’s spring meeting, Commissioner Roger Goodell said he believed the NFL was nearing the end of its investigation, but could not give a timeline for when the verdict would be issued.
“I can’t control it,” Watson said. “I did everything they asked me to do. I honestly answered every question the NFL asked me.” “I’ve spent hours with the people who brought them down. That’s all I can do, be honest and tell them exactly what happened. They have a job, and so I have to respect that. And that’s what we want to do is collaborate. They have to make a decision that is best for the league.”
Watson was asked if he had considered filing anti-libel suits because of the damage the lawsuits had done to his reputation. He said he didn’t focus on that and was only focused on clearing his name.
“…I didn’t touch any of that. The most important thing for me is just wanting to clear my name so I can go back, be in an environment I feel more comfortable in and be in the community and help people and be a role model and a leader and also be on the football field With my teammates and trying to win ball games. So that’s something I haven’t really focused on. Just really clearing my name and just focusing on doing what’s right and being honest and whatever I have to respond give them the facts.”
Asked how his legal situation might affect him, Watson said, “It’s been tough” and said he’s trying to maintain a balance with his mental health and social life.
“But I have a big family,” he said. “I have a great legal team. I have a great support team here in this organization.” “I go every day [focusing] On my mission and being the best person I can be, said Watson. I cannot control what the other party does with the legal process. I just have to keep focusing solely on being the best Deshaun Watson I can be for this organization.”