CLEVELAND – Cleveland Brown quarterback Deshaun Watson is facing a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy after more than two dozen civil lawsuits accuse him of sexual misconduct.
Last year, the then Houston Texan quarterback Deshaun Watson faced sexual misconduct allegations from two dozen massage therapists. He allegedly had them sign NDAs and eventually settled with 20 women.
Watson has denied every allegation and maintained his innocence.
The following in a short timeline concerning Watson.
In March 2021, attorney Tony Buzbee announced via Instagram that he would be filing suit against Watson for alleged misconduct against massage therapists.
On April 2, 2021, Houston police began an investigation into Watson after a complainant filed a report. At the time, Watson did not face criminal charges. Buzbee had filed 21 lawsuits on behalf of the women accusing Watson.
On July 26, 2021, 10 women accusing Watson filed police complaints against the quarterback. Eight of the women were part of the 22 lawsuits filed.
On March 11, 2022, Watson was cleared by a Harris County grand jury, and he would not face criminal charges.
A week later on March 18, 2022, the Cleveland Browns sent a King’s Ransom for Watson including the Browns’ 2022, 2023, 2024 first round draft picks to the Texans among others. Also, Watson signed a deal worth $230 million.
A Brazoria County grand jury declined to indict Watson on March 24, 2022.
In an early June interview, Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin told SportsRadio610 happy endings were not necessarily illegal after a massage. Hardin said, “I do want to point out if it has happened, it’s not a crime, ok, unless you are paying somebody extra or so to give you some type of sexual activity, it’s not a crime.”
On June 7, 2022, the New York Times wrote an article claiming Watson had met with 66 massage therapists in a 17-month period. The piece also alleged that Watson had gotten the NDA he made the women sign from a Texans’ staff member and that the team had a room at The Houstonian hotel and a spa in Houston for Watson’s massages.
It was also announced that the Houston Texans would be added as defendants in the lawsuits against Watson.
On June 21, 2022, Watson settled with 20 of the now 24 women who filed lawsuits against him.
The Texans reached settlements with 30 women who had either made or indented to make claims against Watson on July 15, 2022.
Then, today, August 1, 2022, the NFL and NFLPA’s appointed officer and former U.S. District Court judge Sue L. Robinson suggested a 6-game suspension for Watson citing Watson violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Watson and the NFLPA have said they will accept the decision and he never faced criminal charges the entire time.