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Deshaun Watson’s lawyer: First plaintiff sought $100K before filing suit

Ashley Solis, the first of 22 women to accuse Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct, revealed her identity publicly and spoke with the media.

At a press conference at lawyer Tony Buzbee’s office on Tuesday, a woman named Ashley Solis revealed that she is the plaintiff in the first sexual assault lawsuit filed against Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

While it was the first time Solis publicly revealed her identity, it was not the first time Watson’s camp became aware that she was making those allegations. Watson’s lawyer Rusty Hardin released emails between Scott Gaffield, the general counsel for Watson’s agency Athletes First and Buzbee’s office regarding a demand of $100,000 to avoid the lawsuit while noting that Solis said she is not “doing this just for money.”

Hardin’s statement shares an email from Gaffield saying that they “don’t believe that the alleged facts show that Deshaun did anything wrong with regards to Ms. Solis” while asking “if Ms. Solis wanted to either help us understand the rationale behind the $100k demand or come back with a different figure.” It also includes Buzbee’s response from February 19.

“We made a legit demand. You rejected it,” Buzbee wrote. “We won’t be making another or bid against ourselves. We also won’t be having an extended dialogue about why you think your client did nothing wrong or how you want this to be a “learning” experience for your “high profile athlete,” as you refer to him. This is Houston, Texas. Perhaps you should find him a lawyer here so you can apprise both you and your client of the landscape here and who you are dealing with. Talk soon.”
Gaffield prepared a statement that was also included with the release from Hardin’s office.

“My email exchanges with Mr. Buzbee and [Buzbee’s associate] Ms. Brandfield-Harvey were very clear,” Gaffield wrote. “We did not think that the facts showed that Deshaun did anything wrong with their client. We believed then -- and fully believe now -- that Deshaun learned a lesson about putting himself in this type of situation by interacting with people he does not know. As the emails show, we were willing to continue discussions on Deshaun’s behalf to explore ways to prevent a lawsuit and a public spectacle. But Mr. Buzbee informed us that he was unwilling to do so. We expect that this matter will be resolved in court.”