Anybody thinking that the odometer on the Deshaun Watson lawsuit count had hit its plateau was mistaken. The Cleveland Browns quarterback is already being sued by 24 different women, and reportedly at least two more are on the way, with lawyer Tony Buzbee implying that even more could be coming down the road.
Especially following the 24th lawsuit, which had some particularly compromising allegations, and which Watson’s team was not previously aware of, things had seemingly closed in even further on him. Perhaps it was the development that nudged him to say that he regrets saying that he has no regrets about everything that has transpired in his private life over the past few years.
Watson spoke to reporters at the start of Browns minicamp yesterday, his first open media session since his introductory press conference when he was first traded to Cleveland. One reporter asked him about his remark during that press conference about how he had no regrets. This was his response:
I think that question kind of triggered a lot of people, not just women in general but a lot of people in the league from women to males and things like that. What I was saying is yes, I never assaulted, disrespected or harassed anyone. At the same time, I do understand that I do have regrets as far as the impact it has had on the community and people outside of just myself, and that includes my family, that includes this organization, that includes my teammates in this locker room that have to answer to these questions, that includes the fanbase of the Cleveland Browns and that includes males, females and everyone across the world. That is one thing I do regret is the impact it has triggered so many people, and it is tough to have to deal with.
Interesting, of course, is the omission of any regrets regarding his massage habits or his behavior toward massage therapists. He has already acknowledged that he had sexual relations with at least three of the massage therapists he employed. There are also text exchanges with at least one woman in which he apologizes for upsetting her, and that she ended up in tears.
I would imagine that he would at least regret attempting to see at least 40 massage therapists (his own number) over a period of not even a year and a half, which may be more than anybody else ever has—ever—in a similar span of time. If one is seeing that many different massage therapists, there is likely a non-therapeutic reason behind it.
Watson did talk about how ‘long’ the past year and a half has been for him personally. He said that, since he has signed with the Browns, he has been undergoing counseling in order to deal with all of the stresses that come with being under the microscope for literally dozens of allegations of sexual misconduct, “just to make sure that my mental is straight”.
One other point worth noting is that he continues to emphasis that his priority is to clear his name, which strongly suggests that, as has been the status quo, he does not intend to settle any of the lawsuits. Reportedly, his team attempted to settle all of the original 22 lawsuits last season, but when three held out, he decided to drop all of them and to fight them one by one. His course of action could potentially drag on for years—especially if even more cases are to come.