September 19, 2021

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Women outraged by NFL investigators' questions during Deshaun Watson's investigation

Women outraged by NFL investigators’ questions during Deshaun Watson’s investigation

Two women said Sports Illustrated In a story published Friday, they expressed their displeasure with some of the tactics NFL investigators used in interviews regarding their contact with the Houston Texans. Deshaun Watson.

Ashley Solis told SI that NFL investigators asked her what she was wearing when she worked with Watson, “which really pissed me off.” In the lawsuit, Solis described incidents of sexual misconduct by Watson, including putting his penis in her hand.

“I made it clear that this is something you should be asking about – which I absolutely do not believe,” Solis told SI.

NFL detectives Lisa Friel and Jennifer Gaffney, former prosecutors who now run the league’s personal behavior policy investigations, are the ones who spoke to Solis and Lauren Baxley and eight other women among the 22 women who sued Watson. Watson, through his attorney, Rusty Harden, denied the charges.

Baxley told SI she believed NFL investigators were “dealers” and “victim blaming” in their line of questioning. She said her interview with the Houston Police Department was “extremely respectful and shocking.”

Both Solis and Baxley were part of a press conference in April where they named themselves in the case. SI said they agreed to interview last week, frustrated by the fact that Watson is still active on the Texans roster.

Watson got dressed, but only participated in hands-on exercises so far. The association says there are “no restrictions” on his participation. It remains subject to the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy, which allows the league, through Commissioner Roger Goodell, to act and possibly suspend players who determine they have violated league policies even without filing a formal criminal case.

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Attorney Tony Busby, who represents the 22 women, told SI that Solis and Baxley wanted to speak to the NFL to hear what the magazine called “unliquidated accounts directly from them.” He also said that after meeting his first three clients, he was present for the fourth in what the magazine described as an attempt to reset the tone. He said future interviews have been better received by his clients, SI reported.

The NFL told ESPN’s Kimberly A. Martin on Friday that “there is no change to [Watson’s] the situation with ongoing investigations by the Houston Police Department and the League.” The NFL added that a review of “serious allegations” against Watson “remains ongoing and active.”

“We work collaboratively with the Houston Police Department and ensure that the NFL investigation does not conflict with their investigation.”