Attorney Tony Buzbee says 20 of 24 lawsuits against Cleveland Brown’s QB Deshaun Watson have been settled

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has settled all but four of the lawsuits filed against him, attorney Tony Buzbee said in a statement Tuesday.

Since March 16, 2021, 25 lawsuits have been filed against Watson alleging sexual assault and other inappropriate behavior during massage sessions. Of those 25, one was dropped by the plaintiff when the judge ruled that her petition had to be changed with her name on it. The other 20, Buzbee said, have been settled.

“We are going through the paperwork related to these settlements,” Buzbee said in a statement. “Once we have done that, these particular cases will be dismissed. The terms and amounts of the settlements are confidential. We will not comment further on the settlements or these cases.”

Buzbee noted that Ashley Solis, the first woman to file a lawsuit against Watson and the first to speak publicly and identify herself as a plaintiff, is not among the 20 women who must be settled.

“…Ashley Solis is one of the heroes of this story. Her case is not yet settled, so her story and that of the other three brave women will continue. I look forward to hearing these cases, in due course, in accordance with other record-breaking commitments and the court’s timetable,” he said.

Although two Texas grand juries earlier this year declined to seek criminal charges against Watson, the NFL is investigating whether he violated its code of conduct, and the league interviewed the quarterback in person as part of its investigations last month. At the league’s spring meeting, Commissioner Roger Goodell said he thought the NFL was nearing the end of its investigation, but could not provide a timeline for when a decision might be made.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Tuesday, “Today’s development has no impact on the collectively negotiated disciplinary process.”

Buzbee said in his statement that without Solis’ “courage and willingness to come forward, the NFL wouldn’t be thinking about discipline right now; there would be no investigation into how teams could knowingly or unknowingly facilitate a particular behavior; Sports teams would not review their staff screening processes; and this important story would not have dominated sports headlines for more than a year.”

The Houston Texans traded Watson to the Browns in March for a package of three first-round draft picks after the first grand jury announced it would not indict Watson on criminal charges.

Last week, Watson said in a press conference that he had no regrets about his actions, but admitted he regretted the impact the allegations had on those around him.

“I understand that I regret the repercussions [it’s had] to the community and people outside of myself,” Watson said. “And that includes my family. That includes this organization. That includes my teammates in that dressing room who have to answer these questions. That includes the Cleveland Browns fan base. This includes men, women, all around the world. The one thing I regret is the effect it is having on so many people. It’s hard to deal with.”

ESPN’s Jake Trotter contributed to this report.