Deshaun Watson Settles 20 of the 24 Sexual Misconduct Lawsuits Against Him: Lawyer

Deshaun Watson was first accused of sexual misconduct with his massage therapists in March 2021

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson
Deshaun Watson. Photo: Eric Christian Smith/AP/Shutterstock

Deshaun Watson has settled 20 of the 24 sexual misconduct lawsuits against him.

He was accused of committing indecent acts with massage therapists during appointments, including exposing himself and purposefully touching therapists' hands with his penis, as previously reported by PEOPLE.

The athlete was initially facing 25 lawsuits before one accuser dropped her case after a judge determined she would need to include her name in her filing. On Tuesday, Tony Buzbee — a lawyer for the alleged victims — said in a statement that 20 of the remaining 24 cases have now been settled, per ESPN.

"We are working through the paperwork related to those settlements," Buzbee told the outlet. "Once we have done so, those particular cases will be dismissed. The terms and amounts of the settlements are confidential. We won't comment further on the settlements or those cases."

He added that Ashley Solis, who filed the initial lawsuit against the athlete in March 2021, was one of the four who did not settle.

"... Ashley Solis is one of the heroes of this story. Her case has not settled and thus her story and that of the other three brave women will continue. I look forward to trying these cases in due course, consistent with other docket obligations and the court's schedule," he told ESPN.

An NFL spokesperson previously said that the situation "remains under review of the personal conduct policy," per The New York Times and ESPN.

Buzbee told ESPN Tuesday that if it weren't for Solis' "courage and willingness to come forward, the NFL wouldn't currently be contemplating discipline; there would be no examination of how teams might knowingly or unknowingly enable certain behavior; sports teams wouldn't be reviewing their personnel screening processes; and this important story wouldn't have dominated the sports headlines for more than a year."

Brian McCarthy, a spokesman for the league, tells PEOPLE, "Today's development has no impact on the collectively bargained disciplinary process."

A lawyer for Watson, Rusty Hardin, did not deny that the settlements had been reached, The New York Times reported.

Buzbee and Hardin did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Per previous court documents, Buzbee said the accusers were offered $100,000 each for a settlement but some did not agree due to what he called an "aggressive nondisclosure agreement," the Times added.

Earlier this month, Watson spoke on a potential settlement during a press conference at minicamp for the Cleveland Browns, saying that he wanted to "clear my name and be able to let the facts and the legal procedures continue to play out," the Times reported.

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He went on to deny the claims against him, insisting that he "never forced" any of the accusers to take part in sexual activity.

Along with the four remaining lawsuits, Watson could face two more, per Fox Sports.

He has not played since the 2020 season when the Houston Texans earned a 4-12 record. He requested a trade a short time before the first allegation was made public. Several teams are expected to have interest in picking Watson up, who is still looking for a new home in the NFL, ESPN previously reported.

In March, a Houston grand jury chose not to indict the 26-year-old NFL quarterback on nine criminal complaints filed in 2021, the Times reported. The Harris County District Attorney's Office confirmed the news in a statement to ABC13 in Houston.

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