‘I never assaulted any woman’: Deshaun Watson introduced by Cleveland Browns as next QB
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Deshaun Watson was formally introduced as the newest Cleveland Browns quarterback during a Friday afternoon press conference.
The introductory press conference came less than 24 hours after a second Texas grand jury declined to pursue criminal charges on accusations of sexual misconduct involving the quarterback.
“I never assaulted any woman. I never disrespected any woman,” Watson stated during Friday’s press conference.
The civil proceedings related to the 22 lawsuits filed by different women against Watson alleging sexual assault and harassment are still ongoing in Harris County, Texas, according to court records.
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“My intent is to clear my name as much as possible,” Watson said when asked if he would consider settling the civil lawsuits.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski and general manager Andrew Berry joined Watson for remarks during his first appearance in front of the Cleveland media.
Berry said the team was advised against reaching out directly to the 22 women so there was no interference with the criminal investigation.
“We, as an organization, know this transaction has been very difficult for many women, specifically in our community,” the team’s general manager said.
“I think Deshaun is ready to make a positive impact on this community,” Stefanski added.
19 News crews were in Berea to catch Watson as he arrived to the Browns facility for the first time for his team physical on Thursday morning.
The Cleveland Browns acquired Watson in a trade with the Houston Texans earlier this month.
The team also guaranteed $230 million to Watson in a record-breaking NFL contract.
Owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam are expected to speak at 3 p.m.
**19 News will provide complete coverage from Berea throughout the day**
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