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Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson will soon have another civil lawsuit filed against him.
Tony Buzbee, the attorney who is representing all of the women suing Watson, told cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot that a 24th civil lawsuit will be against the quarterback Monday by another massage therapist who alleges sexual misconduct during his past appointments.
The news comes three days after a 23rd woman, Nia Smith, filed a civil suit against Watson in Texas alleging sexual misconduct.
According to Jake Trotter of ESPN, Smith changed her mind about filing the suit against the quarterback after Ashley Solis and Kyla Hayes went on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and condemned the Browns for signing him to a five-year contract with an NFL-record $230 million guaranteed.
Solis and Hayes have both filed suits against Watson alleging sexual misconduct.
Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, later said in a statement that the quarterback “vehemently denies the allegations” from Smith.
Two grand juries in Texas declined to indict Watson in March on nine of the 10 criminal complaints alleging sexual assault or misconduct, with the 10th complaint not being presented by prosecutors to the grand jury.
Roughly a week later, the Houston Texans traded him to the Browns.
The NFL is still in the process of finishing its investigation into the allegations, and Watson could be suspended under the league’s personal-conduct policy.
“I think we’re nearing the end of the investigative period,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said late last month. “Then it will be handled by our disciplinary officer.”
There is no timeline for the announcement of the league’s findings.
If he is available, Watson is set to be the Browns’ starting quarterback when the team opens the 2022 regular season against the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 11.
If Watson is suspended, Cleveland could turn to Baker Mayfield provided the franchise doesn’t trade him this summer or Mayfield doesn’t hold out after he requested to be dealt. The team also signed Jacoby Brissett in free agency this offseason.
Watson hasn’t played an NFL game since the 2020 season after requesting a trade from the Texans and sitting out the entire 2021 campaign amid the allegations.