CLEVELAND – Deshaun Watson has maintained his innocence and flatly denied committing any sexual misconduct despite allegations made by 22 women against the new Cleveland Browns starting quarterback.
Wearing a dark striped suit and orange tie at his presentation press conference on Friday, Watson showed little excitement at saying he did nothing illegal.
“I’ve never been bullied, disrespected, or harassed a woman in my life,” said Watson, flanked on the podium by Browns general manager Andrew Berry and coach Kevin Stefanski. “That’s not how I grew up. I’ve never done these things that people are claiming.”
Berry defended the team’s controversial decision to switch to Watson, who was accused by two dozen masseurs of various sexual activities during private sessions. He always stated that either sex was consensual.
“As an organization we know that this transaction has been very difficult for many people, especially for the women in our community,” Berry said. “It simply came to our notice then.
“It was because of the weight of the anticipated reaction and the nature of the accusations that really pushed us to do as much work as possible internally and externally in terms of understanding the cases and who Deshaun was as a person.
“We have faith and trust in Deshaun as a person.”
Watson has ruled out the need for counsel because he feels he has been falsely accused.
“I have no problem,” he said. “I have no problem.”
Although Watson has not been charged by two grand jurors in Texas with criminal charges, he still faces civil lawsuits. He has no intention of resolving the lawsuits and that his sole purpose “is to clear my name.”
Berry described the Browns’ investigation as “a five-month odyssey” that caused the team to feel comfortable enough with Watson as a person to change for him, and by extension made him the face of his franchise.
The Browns lured Watson to Cleveland on a $ 230 million contract, fully guaranteed, which includes a $ 1 million base salary in the first season if he is suspended by the NFL.
The league has an ongoing investigation into his behavior and his personal conduct policy has been violated.
Watson said the Browns’ contract had nothing to do with giving up his non-trade clause to come to Cleveland.
The Browns traded three first-round picks and six overall to Houston for Watson.
On Thursday, a second grand jury in Texas decided not to charge Watson with one of the original criminal allegations of sexual misconduct. Watson, being authorized by another grand jury, provoked his chase by the Browns and other teams hoping to sign the three-time Pro Bowler.
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Browns QB Deshaun Watson denies allegations of sexual assault
Source link Browns QB Deshaun Watson denies allegations of sexual assault