Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson runs a play during minicamp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus.

Deshaun Watson settles with all but four of 24 women who sued him

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has reached a confidential settlement with all but four of the 24 women who sued him and accused him of sexual misconduct during massage sessions in 2020 and early 2021, the women’s attorney said Tuesday.

The settlements end the women’s litigation against him nearly 15 months after most were filed in 2021.

“Today I announce that all cases against Deshaun Watson, with the exception of four, have settled,” plaintiffs attorney Tony Buzbee said in a statement. “We are working through the paperwork related to those settlements. 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.”

Settling the cases allows Watson to move on from most of the litigation after it generated regular ugly headlines about him, at least somewhat spoiling his recent arrival in Cleveland as the new $230 million quarterback of the Browns. Settling the cases also helps him avoid several days of deposition testimony that were scheduled for him this week. Those depositions are no longer going forward.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in May the investigation into the allegations against Watson was nearing an end, but it’s not clear what the league knew about two new lawsuits filed against Watson this year or information that came out of recent pretrial discovery.

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

Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, declined comment Tuesday when contacted by USA TODAY Sports.

Hardin had said the women were lying and that Buzbee viewed Watson as a “payday” after the women accused Watson of improper behavior, including exposing himself, causing his genitals to touch them and in some cases coercing sex.

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