Deshaun Watson: New Cleveland Browns defender denies sexual assault allegations | NFL News

Watson faced questions about his character and the charges against him when he was officially announced as a Browns player at the team’s headquarters; Browns acquire quarterback in a deal with Houston Texans

Last Updated: 03/25/22 8:08pm

Deshaun Watson has denied sexual misconduct allegations as he is officially announced as a Browns player

Deshaun Watson has denied sexual misconduct allegations as he is officially announced as a Browns player

Deshaun Watson has strongly denied any sexual misconduct despite 22 women’s accusations against the Cleveland Browns starting quarterback.

Watson maintained his innocence and insisted he did nothing illegal during Friday’s introductory press conference at Browns headquarters, where he was supported by general manager Andrew Berry and coach Kevin Stefanski.

This is the first time Watson has responded to direct questions about the allegations, which first emerged in March 2021. Watson did not play for the Houston Texans in the NFL last season as the cases come.

“I have never assaulted or disrespected or harassed a woman in my life,” Watson said. “That’s not how I was raised. I’ve never done the things people are accusing me of.

“I know there will be a stain that will probably stick with me for a while, but all I can do is keep moving forward and keep showing people that I am, the real me. , the real me, the real me.

“I have never done the things these people are alleging and I will continue to fight for my name and clear my name and like I did, just cooperate with everything that comes with it. .”

Berry defended the Browns’ controversial decision to trade for Watson, who has been accused by dozens of masseuses of various sexual activities during private sessions. He has always stated that any sex is consensual.

The superintendent describes the independent investigation as a five-month odyssey that led to the team becoming comfortable with Watson as someone who could trade for him and, by extension, he became the side of their franchise.

“We as an organization know this trade is difficult for many people, especially the women in our community,” says Berry.

“We recognize that it has caused a flurry of emotions. And that, as well as the nature of the allegations, has weighed on all of us.

“It was the weight of the anticipated response and the nature of the allegations that really pushed us to do as much work internally and externally as possible in terms of understanding the circumstances and Deshaun was the one to go. We have faith and confidence in who Deshaun is.”

Browns general manager Andrew Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski with new signing Deshaun Watson

Browns general manager Andrew Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski with new signing Deshaun Watson

While Watson has not been criminally indicted by two grand juries in Texas, he is still facing civil lawsuits. He has no intention of settling the lawsuits and says his only goal is to clear his name.

In the face of serious allegations and ongoing legal problems, the Browns have been criticized for pursuing and signing Watson. Berry said the team had been advised by attorneys not to approach any of the 22 women because it could interfere with a criminal investigation.

Berry paused for a few seconds before addressing the concerns of several fans, who said they would no longer support the Browns because of Watson.

“We fully respect and we fully empathize with those feelings and completely understand that there are people who are not comfortable with trading right now,” Berry said.

Browns general manager Andrew Berry defends team's decision to sign Deshaun Watson

Browns general manager Andrew Berry defends team’s decision to sign Deshaun Watson

“But again, we’ve tracked our information, we feel good about Deshaun as a person, and we think he’s going to do a lot of positive things in the community.”

The Browns brought Watson to Cleveland with a record-breaking $230 million contract, fully guaranteed, including a first-season $1 million base salary in the event he was suspended by the NFL. The federation is conducting an investigation into his conduct and whether he violated its personal conduct policy.

Watson said the Browns’ contract had nothing to do with him giving up the no-trade clause to go to Cleveland. The Browns traded three first-round draft picks and six overall picks for Watson of Texas.

On Thursday, a second grand jury in Texas decided not to prosecute Watson for one of the original criminal complaints of deviant sexual behavior. Watson’s disqualification by a different grand jury triggered his pursuit by the Browns and several other teams in hopes of signing the Pro Bowler three times.

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