Sports

Some accusers will attend Deshaun Watson’s return to Houston, attorney says

Watson, who was traded to the Cleveland Browns in March, will return from an 11-game suspension after being accused of sexual assault and misconduct in 24 separate civil lawsuits.

David Richard / AP
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson stands on the field during an NFL football practice at the team’s training facility Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, in Berea, Ohio.

Deshaun Watson will soon return to the field to face his former NFL team, the Houston Texans, after an 11-game suspension spurred on by more than 20 sexual assault allegations.

Watson, who was traded to the Cleveland Browns in March, will take on the Texans at NRG Stadium on Sunday after being accused of sexual assault in 25 separate civil lawsuits.

Attorney Tony Buzbee, who represented the first 25 women to accuse Watson, told The Athletic that he was planning to attend the game with "bells and whistles on" alongside around 10 accusers to “welcome Deshaun back to Houston.”

"You think you put us behind you, but we are still here,” Buzbee said.

Most of the suits accuse the former Houston Texans quarterback of exposing himself, touching the women and kissing them against their will during massage sessions.

Watson has denied any wrongdoing.

In the months that followed the initial allegations, one women dropped her lawsuit and criminals charges were filed. As of now, 23 out of the 24 lawsuits have been settled, according to Buzbee.

In early March, a Harris County grand jury declined to indict Watson on nine criminal complaints — just before Watson accepted the trade to Cleveland. Two weeks later, a Brazoria County grand jury came to the same conclusion in one separate criminal complaint.

Houston Press Freelance Sports Writer Jeff Balke told Houston Public Media that he believes the decision to schedule Watson’s return in Houston is “disgusting.”

“The NFL should never have scheduled Deshaun Watson’s return (in) Houston,” Balke said. “It’s a slap in the face not only the fans, but a slap in the face to these women who’ve accused him and gone through the trauma that they have.”

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