One day after the attorney for Deshaun Watson’s accusers said his clients were not interested in settlement negotiations for their claims of sexual misconduct, the lawyer for the Houston Texans quarterback disputed that there had been an attempt at any negotiations.
“In a recent interview, Mr. Buzbee stated that ‘a settlement is not happening.’ We certainly agree,” Watson’s lawyer Rusty Hardin said in a statement obtained by Fox News.
On Wednesday, Tony Buzbee, who is representing the women accusing the NFL star, told KRIV, the Fox-owned TV station in Houston, there were no plans to settle any of the 22 lawsuits.
But Hardin cast cold water on Buzbee’s comments stating that Watson’s camp has “never approached Mr. Buzbee about a settlement, he has approached us on numerous occasions in the past about the possibility of a settlement.”
Watson’s attorney goes on to claim that, “We have made clear all along that there would be no settlement unless the terms are made public and all participants are allowed to speak in their own defense at all times. We want none of the participants—the plaintiffs or Mr. Watson—muzzled by a settlement agreement. Mr. Buzbee does not feel the same.”
The four-year NFL veteran is also under investigation by the league. KRIV sports director Mark Berman also reported that several of Watson’s accusers have met with NFL investigators and that Buzbee was concerned with how the league “handled” some of his clients.
Watson has maintained his innocence throughout the process and said in a statement released through Hardin, last month that the claims are a “money grab.”
Hardin reiterated that stance on Thursday. “I am a little bemused by Mr. Buzbee pronouncing piously that his clients are not going to settle and that they want their cases to play out in court. The fact that this whole thing started with his attempt to extort money and avoid court shows that irony is not dead. I guess it has just been raised to a new level.”
In addition to the NFL inquiry, the Houston police were also investigating at least one complaint.