Where are the incidents said to have taken place?
Most of the incidents are said to have taken place in Texas, but according to the complaints, two are said to have occurred in Georgia, where Watson is from, and in California and Arizona, during his visits there. All of the lawsuits were filed in Harris County, Texas, because that is where Watson lives and works.
Will the N.F.L. take any action?
The league opened an investigation into Watson’s conduct in March 2021. In a letter addressed to Buzbee, Lisa Friel, a special counsel for investigations at the league, requested the cooperation of the accusers. A league spokesman said the matter was under review in relation to the N.F.L.’s personal conduct policy. That policy governs off-field behavior involving players and coaches.
League investigators spent four days interviewing Watson, Hardin has said, which is generally one of the final steps in the process. The N.F.L. spokesman Brian McCarthy said the settlements had “no impact on the collectively bargained disciplinary process.”
Hardin has said Watson is cooperating with all investigations.
How have Watson’s sponsors responded?
Nike suspended its contract with Watson in April of last year, the day after two of the accusers gave public statements describing their allegations.
“We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and have suspended Deshaun Watson. We will continue to closely monitor the situation,” the company said in a statement.
Many of his other sponsorships, which included ones with Rolex and Texas businesses, were allowed to expire.
Who is Tony Buzbee?
Tony Buzbee is a Houston plaintiffs lawyer who has worked on personal injury cases for years but is perhaps best known for his involvement in mass tort and class-action cases, including the litigation after Hurricane Ike and the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico a decade ago. He doesn’t appear to have represented many women in cases involving sexual assault.
A former marine, Buzbee flaunts his outsize personality and wealth on social media. The first two words on the website for Buzbee’s law firm are “Just Win,” and he has a tattoo of a shark on his right forearm.