Videos by OutKick
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson still faces 22 civil lawsuits in which he is accused of sexually assaulting or engaging in sexually inappropriate behavior during massage sessions, but new reports suggest he has attempted to pay for his accusers’ silence.
The Daily Beast, which obtained one of these settlement offers from Watson to an accuser, reports the accuser refused to sign the agreement that states the quarterback, “denies all such claims and liability, including the facts alleged” by the accuser, and says the $100,000 payment is meant to “buy peace.”
The settlement offer, which the Daily Beast’s obtained records show would be paid via wire transfer, shows the civil lawsuit would also be dismissed with prejudice — meaning dismissed once-and-for-all.
Along with having to dismiss the lawsuit, the accuser would be required to adhere to strict confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses contained in the agreement, including that neither party nor their agents “will speak, write, or otherwise communicate publicly or privately, including in any interviews, social media posts, blog posts, articles or any other media or forum, on the terms of this Agreement, and the amount of the settlement”; will not disclose the “Settlement Amount”; and that any violation of the agreement’s terms “will cause irreparable harm and that money damages will be inadequate to fully compensate for such damages,” the Daily Beast reports.
The full settlement offer can be read here.
OutKick previously reported that Watson’s legal team, led by Rusty Hardin, would not be reaching a settlement with attorney Tony Buzbee — who represents the women accusing Watson — until “terms are made public.”
In April, the first woman to file a sexual misconduct lawsuit against Watson came forward to tell her story publicly in a press conference.
Hardin forwarded the media an email chain soon after, in which Buzbee “made a legit demand that Watson’s camp rejected and asked for “the rationale behind the $100k demand” since “we don’t believe that the alleged facts show that Deshaun did anything wrong.”
OutKick reached out to Buzbee for comment in response to Hardin’s release of the emails in April, and he provided the following statement:
“It’s old news that we attempted to settle this case with Watson’s team before filing the first case. We attempted to avoid this circus that Watson’s team has created. The fact that we tried to settle before the first suit came out when we filed the first case. That’s the only defense that the Watson team has. It’s a weak defense. Now there are 22 cases. Perhaps Watson’s team should have listened to me.”
Despite sharing videos to his social media in May looking eager to play — or eager to be traded — Watson has remained inactive on the Texans roster so far this season. The two parties agreed his sworn deposition won’t be taken before Feb. 22, 2022.
The FBI and Houston police are still investigating, though.
Hardin said in July that 10 women had made complaints to the Houston Police Department, with eight of the women being among the 22 who have active civil lawsuits against the QB.
Three search warrants for Watson’s social media accounts — including his Instagram and Cash App — confirm Houston police is currently investigating 9 criminal investigations, OutKick previously reported.
The warrants were signed in October and issued in December, and authorized data to be seized from September 1, 2019, through January 1, 2021.
Hardin has welcomed the criminal investigations throughout the entire process, calling it a “long overdue” in April.
OutKick reached out to both attorneys and legal teams on Saturday but did not hear back by time of publication.
Check back with OutKick for updates.
New FanDuel Sportsbook users can make their first bet risk-free up to $1,000. If the bet loses, the FanDuel Sportsbook will refund you in site credit. New users can lock in this offer NOW by clicking this link.