It was previously learned that multiple women suing Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson regarding allegations of sexual misconduct would be featured on Tuesday evening’s edition of HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” and that they would “detail the alleged abuse they suffered and share their reactions to Watson’s record-breaking $230 million contract with the Cleveland Browns.”
Watson received that deal shortly after the Browns traded for him in March, and two women hit out at the franchise in a portion of the interview with HBO that was leaked on Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s just like a big screw you,” Ashley Solis said of the Browns giving Watson $230 million guaranteed, per Jake Trotter of ESPN. “That’s what it feels like. That we don’t care. He can run and throw, and that’s what we care about.”
Watson has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, and two grand juries declined to pursue criminal charges against the 26-year-old.
“I felt like he’s being rewarded for bad behavior,” Kyla Hayes told HBO.
Meanwhile, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio noted that attorney Leah Graham, one of the lawyers representing Watson, was asked by reporter Soledad O’Brien for HBO why the signal-caller should be believed over the 22 women suing him.
“It’s 22 women. It’s one lawyer,” Graham answered, per an excerpt shared by Florio. “There’s only one lawyer who was willing to take these cases. And as we know from Ashley Solis’ deposition, Mr. (Tony) Buzbee was not the first, probably not the second or third lawyer she went to, but he was the only one to take her case. Why? Not because it had merit, but because he would use these cases to increase his social media following and quite frankly to get on shows like this one.”
According to Trotter, Graham also told HBO that Watson “did nothing wrong” during massage sessions mentioned in the lawsuits.
“He did nothing wrong in these massages,” Graham claimed. “And although – to your first question, ‘How can he be innocent?’ I think the real question is, ‘What evidence is there of any guilt?'”