Some Watson accusers to attend as QB returns

HOUSTON — With nearly all of the more than two dozen lawsuits filed against Deshaun Watson having been settled, most of the women who accused the Cleveland quarterback of sexual misconduct have no interest in his return to Houston on Sunday and just want to move on with their lives, according to their attorney.

Attorney Tony Buzbee said about 10 of the women who accused Watson of sexual harassment and assault during massages are planning to attend Sunday’s game at Houston’s NRG Stadium when the Browns take on the Texans and watch him play in his return from an 11-game suspension.

Some of the women really want to attend the game “to kind of make the statement, ‘Hey we’re still here. We matter. Our voice was heard and this is not something that’s over. [Sexual harassment and assault] happen every day in the United States,'” Buzbee said.

The women declined to comment ahead of Sunday’s game, he said.

An NFL spokesman also did not immediately reply to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Watson was still with the Texans when more than 20 women alleged he exposed himself, touched them or kissed them against their will during massage therapy sessions. One woman alleged Watson forced her to perform oral sex.

Ultimately, 25 women represented by Buzbee filed lawsuits. One woman dropped her lawsuit while 23 others settled their cases in August. In July, 30 women who had accused the Texans of turning a blind eye to allegations against their former star quarterback settled their legal claims against the team.

Watson, who was traded to the Browns in March, has long denied any wrongdoing and two separate Texas grand juries declined to indict him.

Rusty Hardin, Watson’s lead attorney, declined to comment on Watson’s return to Houston, citing confidentiality agreements from the settled lawsuits.

One woman represented by Buzbee declined to settle and he expects the case will go to trial.

The other pending lawsuit was filed last month by a woman who alleges Watson pressured her to perform oral sex.

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