Deshaun Watson faces 23rd civil lawsuit

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is currently facing 22 civil lawsuits for sexual assault, has been named in a 23rd civil lawsuit. Sarah Barshop, who covers the NFL for ESPN, reported on the latest trial on Tuesday afternoon:

Watson, through his attorneys, released a statement denying the allegations in the new petition:

In addition to the civil lawsuits against the quarterback, the NFL is conducting its own investigation into the claims against Watson. According to recent reports, the league is “close” to completing the investigation. Tony Buzbee, the plaintiffs’ attorney, told reporters in recent days that he had had no contact with NFL investigators.

“We haven’t heard of the NFL and we don’t expect to,” Buzbee told Fox Channel 8 reporters in Cleveland. Buzbee said NFL investigators have already met with some of the accusers. He also said he thought the league’s investigation was “fake”.

Additionally, Buzbee indicated with the quarterback’s attorney that there are no ongoing settlement talks. The parties discussed potential settlements earlier in the process, even before the lawsuit was filed, but with ongoing discovery in the civil case, including Watson’s own deposition, those talks appear to have stalled.

The introduction of a new case could further delay the civil litigation, which in turn could delay any decision on Watson’s status for the upcoming season from NFL investigators and commissioner Roger Goodell.

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