The sexual assault case against Deshaun Watson may be settled soon. Reports claim a member of the prosecuting team reached out to Watson’s attorneys regarding a potential settlement. Text messages and a recording have been reviewed by ESPN. The recording shows the women’s representation attempting to discuss the case with Watson’s legal team.
Tony Buzbee, who represents 22 women that filed civil lawsuits against the Texas quarterback, is reportedly looking for a way to settle the case. Rusty Hardin, Deshaun Watson’s lawyer, suggested in a statement that Buzbee has attempted to settle numerous times, though Buzbee denied the allegations in an Instagram post Friday.
“Not that many care about it anymore,” Tony Buzbee began, “but there is a thing called ‘justice.’ And we will find it. Contrary to what Mr. Rusty says, we haven’t ‘approached them to settle,’ ever. When they approached us they insisted we sign this. We obviously didn’t reach out to them; they begged us via the Texans to mediate.”
The prosecution shared in the post part of a form that underlines the “mutual non-disclosure and confidentiality” agreed upon between the two parties “related to mediation information.” According to Buzbee, “we hold the cards.”
He continued, saying “The truth sometimes or most of the time hurts!!!! We approached them?!? My a–.”
Despite his Instagram post, Buzbee may have been caught in a lie. ESPN reportedly reviewed text messages and recording that present Buzbee’s team approaching Watson’s lawyers in an attempt to work things out.
Deshaun Watson, who has been accused of non-consensual sexual relations with 22 women, has not spoken to the NFL about the case just yet. Some of Buzbee’s clients, however, have reportedly discussed the lawsuit with the league.
Buzbee opened up about those conversations, claiming that the women who were interviewed by the NFL “did not feel like they were being respected during the interview process.” He told Fox 26 that the women met with Lisa Friel, the NFL’s lead investigator and four more women want to meet with Friel, as well. The prosecuting lawyer isn’t sure whether he will allow them to be interviewed after what he claimed was disrespect during the previous interview process.
The news of a potential settlement comes only a month after an agreement by both Buzbee and Hardin that 12 women would reveal their identities by mid-April. Texas judge, Rabeea Sultan Collier also granted Hardin’s request that three additional women release their names.
Deshaun Watson’s lawyer argued that Buzbee was trying to “kill the reputation of our client” by using the accuser’s anonymity. The prosecution countered, explain that anonymity is common in sexual assault cases – citing the risk of death threats to the accusers if their identities are revealed.
The case is ongoing, but the NFL said in April that the allegations were “deeply disturbing” and that the league was looking into it as Houston police also investigate. Deshaun Watson claims that any sexual relations between him and the 22 women were consensual and mutually sought-after.