CLEVELAND — One of the women accusing Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct while she gave him a massage said she felt threatened by a comment he made following a therapy session.
Appearing on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” Ashley Solis, who is among 22 women who have sued Watson over allegations he behaved inappropriately with them, provided graphic details of an encounter with the three-time Pro Bowler.
“Because that sounded like a threat to me,” she said.
During the interview that aired Tuesday night, Solis and another massage therapist, Kyla Hayes, both provided details of their meetings with Watson, who is facing civil lawsuits by the 22 women alleging various sexual acts during massages he received while playing for the Houston Texans.
“It’s just like a big screw you,” Solis said. ”That’s what it feels like. That we don’t care. He can run and throw, and that’s what we care about.”
Added Hayes, “It was sick to me. … I felt like he’s being rewarded for bad behavior.”
“We have been denying these allegations from the beginning,” Hardin said on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland.
“I believe very strongly that these women’s allegations ought to be listened to, investigated thoroughly, and everybody ought to keep an open mind as to whether they happened,” Hardin said. “Similarly, I believe Deshaun‘s objections and denials should have been listened to until they have evidence and that’s what’s really been denied here.
The Browns, who have spent two decades in a futile search for a franchise QB, pursued Watson along with several other teams. They convinced him to waive his no-trade clause and join Cleveland after he initially rebuffed the team.
“Well, in every massage, I will tell you he did go, intending just for a professional massage, and only those three instances where sexual conduct occurred - consensual sexual activity - it occurred after the massage session had ended,” Graham said. “And Mr. Watson has testified and is insistent that that sexual activity was initiated by the plaintiff in every single instance.”
During his introductory news conference with the Browns in March, Watson was adamant he has “never assaulted, disrespected or harassed any woman in my life.” He also said he had no intention of settling the lawsuits outside of court.
League investigators interviewed Watson in Houston last week.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said at the owner’s meeting in Atlanta that the Watson investigation is “nearing the end” but did not provide a timeframe for when a decision will be announced.
The league could wait for a resolution in the lawsuits before announcing a decision or hand out discipline with a caveat that things could change if new information surfaces.
Former U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson, a disciplinary officer jointly appointed by the league and NFL Players Association, is the one deciding whether Watson violated the personal-conduct policy. If Watson is suspended and appeals, Goodell would handle any reexamination.
The Browns are eager to find out whether they’ll be without Watson for an extended period. The team resumed offseason team activities Tuesday and will have mandatory minicamp next month. Training camp is scheduled for July.
Watson treated some of his new teammates to a trip to the Bahamas last week. A team spokesman said he reported for the voluntary offseason program that resumed this week. The Browns will have a media availability Wednesday.
Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.