Deshaun Watson tells reporters at minicamp: ‘I’ve been honest and I’ve been truthful’



Watson’s signing to a five-year contract – which ESPN says is the richest guaranteed money deal in league history – has been controversial in light of the accusations, which make the subject of civil litigation and investigation by the NFL. He has not been charged in Texas, where he played before being traded from the Houston Texans to the Browns.

Civil cases accuse Watson of misconduct and, in some cases, sexual assault. Just eight days ago, Katy Williams, a former Houston massage therapist, filed the latest lawsuit.

She alleges that she had two encounters with Watson at her apartment in August 2020. The first session was professional, according to her lawsuit, but during the second he exposed himself and engaged in unwanted sexual conduct by masturbating in front of her and ejaculating on her.

Watson “vehemently denied” the allegations through his attorney, Ed Hardin.

When asked on Tuesday if he stood by his statement from his first Browns press conference in March in which he said he had no regrets, Watson acknowledged that his answer to the question “triggered a lot of people”.

He said he regretted the impact the allegations had on others, including his family, the Browns organization, teammates, fans and many people outside of his world.

“That’s one thing I regret, that’s the impact it’s had on so many people, and that’s hard to deal with,” he said.

The NFL says it holds players responsible for their personal conduct.  Does the case of Deshaun Watson shatter this illusion?

When asked if he regretted any of his specific actions, he said no.

“As I said, I never assaulted anyone, never harassed anyone, never disrespected anyone, and never forced anyone to do anything,” did he declare.

The Browns are hosting a mandatory minicamp for contracted players this week. The team is required to make its players and head coach available for interviews during the three-day event, which will change venues daily.

Watson did not respond directly whether he would settle the civil cases.

“Right now…all I’m doing is wanting to clear my name and being able to let all the facts out in court and being able to focus on that,” he said.

Deshaun Watson told reporters at an introductory press conference in Cleveland:

Watson remains under investigation by the NFL, which could suspend him if they find he violated the league’s personal conduct policy. NFL officials met with Watson for three days in May and also asked for one more day, attorney Ed Hardin told CNN earlier this month.

Watson said on Tuesday he had “answered all questions honestly.”

“I can’t give you a timeline,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters at a news conference in late May. “I think we are nearing the end of the investigation period and at some point it will be handled by our disciplinary officer. And that will happen shortly. And then we will see where it comes out. ”
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said, “Not today, no,” when asked if the NFL had notified the team when a decision might be made.

CNN’s David Close and Amy Woodyatt contributed to this report.


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