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#pounditSaturday, March 2, 2024

Alleged victim reveals why she did not settle with Deshaun Watson

Deshaun Watson at the Pro Bowl

Jan 23, 2020; Kissimmee, Florida, USA; Houston Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson (4) during AFC practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson has reached settlement agreements with all but one of the 24 women who filed sexual assault lawsuits against him. The one alleged victim who refused to settle has now spoken out against the Cleveland Browns star.

Lauren Baxley wrote a guest piece for The Daily Beast that was published on Friday in which she identified herself as the remaining plaintiff against Watson. She said one of the reasons she was not satisfied with any of the settlement offers is that she believes they aim to dismiss Watson’s actions rather than show remorse.

“I have rejected all settlement offers, in part because they have not included any sincere acknowledgment of remorse and wrongdoings, nor have they included any promises of rehabilitative treatment,” Baxley wrote. “Watson still refuses to admit that he harassed and committed indecent assault against me. Any settlement offer he has made has been a dismissal of his evil actions, and I know that unless there is an authoritative intervention, he will continue his destructive behavior.”

Watson has consistently maintained his innocence. He only admitted to having consensual sexual encounters with some of the women who filed lawsuits against him. Baxley says she is not one of those women.

“I will say again: All non-consensual sexual acts are a violence, particularly when the predator far outweighs his victims in physical stature and influential power,” she wrote. “And inherent and unspoken threats are just as damaging to the psyche as explicit threats. I will never cease my attempts to educate on this point.”

The NFL announced Thursday that it has settled with Watson on an 11-game suspension and $5 million fine. In a statement that was released with the announcement, Watson tried to explain why he accepted a harsh punishment despite insisting he did nothing wrong.

It is unclear what the end result will be between Watson and Baxley. The lawsuit could eventually be heard in court if no settlement is reached. Unless some new allegations come to light, however, the NFL probably considers the matter resolved.

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