June 29, 2022

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‘I don’t have a problem’

2 min read

Cleveland Browns new quarterback Deshaun Watson speaks during a news conference at the NFL football team's training facility, Friday, March 25, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Cleveland Browns new quarterback Deshaun Watson speaks during a news conference at the NFL football team’s training facility, Friday, March 25, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)Ron Schwane/Associated Press

Deshaun Watson wants to rebuild his image as he faces 22 civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault during massage sessions, but he doesn’t think therapy or counseling is part of that process as he continues to proclaim his innocence.

“It’s hard for me to say the counseling part because I don’t have a problem; I don’t have an issue,” Watson told the media at his introductory press conference with the Cleveland Browns on Friday in Berea, Ohio. “That’s what I’ve been saying from the beginning. This situation is definitely tough, and it’s very difficult, but me having a problem and going to counseling and things like that? I’m willing to talk to people about certain situations to make sure I’m not getting back into this, but like I’ve said before I never assaulted anyone, I never disrespected anyone. I’ve always been respectful and that’s what I’ve always stood on and that’s who I am as a person.”

Watson won’t face criminal charges, but the civil suits include an allegation of him forcing a massage therapist to perform oral sex on him, and allegations of him exposing himself and ejaculating on the massage therapists. Rusty Hardin, Watson’s attorney, has claimed that any sexual activity during those sessions was consensual.

Watson flatly refused the accusations during Friday’s press conference.


“I never assaulted, I never disrespected, and I never harassed any woman in my life,” Watson said. “I wasn’t raised that way. My mom and my aunties didn’t raise me that way. Over the course of my life, that’s not in my DNA. As far as the details of actually the things they’re alleging, I can’t speak on that because there’s an ongoing investigation, but in the future, once everything is resolved, I will sit down and love to talk about it.”

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Watson does plan to do work in the Cleveland community, but said that could take time.

“It has to be something that I earn that trust back into the community so I can step out,” Watson said. “I don’t want to jump out and make it seem like I’m just doing it to clear my name.”



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