An attorney for 22 women who accused Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual harassment said that Watson testified that one of the women cried at the end of a massage therapy session.
Attorney Tony Busby told USA Today on Tuesday that during a pre-trial filing last week, the 26-year-old quarterback said he texted Ashley Solis to apologize after noticing she was crying when he left her house.
Solis, a massage therapist in Houston, was the first woman to publicly accuse Watson of sexual misconduct, according to USA Today.
“Sorry for making you feel uncomfortable,” he wrote in the text message obtained by Solis’ lawyers and shared with the news outlet. “The intentions were not. To blame you if you want to work in the future. My apologies.”
Watson said at the hearing that he texted Solis because she seemed emotional after the hearing, hoping that she could work together in the future, USA Today reported.
“But do you know why I sent that text of apology then?” Buzbee reportedly asked Watson at the hearing.
“Yes, because she was tearful,” Watson replied, according to USA Today. ‘And I was trying to figure out what was going on. So I assumed she was uncomfortable for whatever reason. And we talked about future work. And so, I said, ‘We can work in the future. Just let me know.’ And then I sent my apologies for whatever reason he was crying for.”
Watson, a three-time Pro Bowl selection for the quarterback, is expected to meet with NFL officials later this week in Texas to discuss the matter, sources said. Tell USA Today reporter Josena Anderson.
The league launched an investigation last year into the allegations against Watson, which could lead to him being suspended by the league for violating its personal conduct policy.
Watson traded to the Browns of the Houston Texans in March for multiple picks. Watson sat for the entire 2021 NFL season as he sought a deal from Houston.
Cleveland secured a quarterback a week after a Texas jury dismissed nine sexual assault allegations against Watson, meaning he will not face any criminal charges.
Twenty-two women have accused Watson of exposing himself, touching him with his penis or kissing her without their consent during massage appointments in 2020 and 2021.
USA Today noted that Watson, who has denied wrongdoing in relation to the allegations against him, had other pre-trial testimony in June.