Two of Deshaun Watson’s accusers described being humiliated and embarrassed after being hired to give massages to the superstar quarterback in interviews with HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.
The episode, which aired Tuesday evening, centered on interviews between journalist Soledad O’Brien and the accusers, Ashley Solis and Kyla Hayes, who are among 22 women with pending civil lawsuits against Watson in Texas. Hayes and Solis, like the other accusers, are massage therapists Watson hired for private sessions during his time as quarterback for the Houston Texans between 2017 and 2021. Their graphic stories mirrored accusations from the lawsuits: Watson, they said, would drop or move a town meant to cover his groin, exposing himself and sometimes touching them with his penis on purpose.
Hayes said Watson even ejaculated during their massage session.
“At some point, he did ejaculate,” Hayes said. “It was mortifying, embarrassing and disgusting.”
Watson has denied all the allegations against him. Houston area prosecutors in investigated the claims and said in March that they wouldn’t file criminal charges. That cleared the way for Watson’s trade to the Cleveland Browns, which gave him a contract extension worth a record $230 million in guaranteed money.
His accusers weighed in on the payday in the Real Sports episode as well.
“It was sick to me,” Hayes said. “I felt like he’s being rewarded for bad behavior.
But punishment is still likely forthcoming. Watson is subject to discipline under the NFL’s personal conduct policy, which isn’t dependent on the outcome of a criminal or civil court proceeding.
The NFL conducted its own investigation into the allegations against Watson and last week the quarterback traveled to New York for meetings at the league office. Depending on its own findings, the league could suspend Watson, fine him or both.
In the past, the league suspended former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger six games over allegations he sexually assaulted two women. That punishment was ultimately reduced to four games.