Browns QB Deshaun Watson denies sexual assault allegations

Cleveland Browns new quarterback Deshaun Watson listens to a question during a news conference at the NFL football team's training facility, Friday, March 25, 2022, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Deshaun Watson maintained his innocence and strongly denied committing any sexual misconduct despite allegations made by 22 women against the Cleveland Browns’ new starting quarterback.

Wearing a dark pinstriped suit and orange tie at his introductory news conference on Friday, Watson showed little emotion while saying he’s done nothing illegal.

“I’ve never assaulted or disrespected or harassed a woman in my life,” Watson said, flanked at the dais inside the team’s headquarters by Browns general manager Andrew Berry and coach Kevin Stefanski. “That’s not how I was raised. I’ve never done these things people are alleging.”

It was the first time Watson has answered direct questions about the allegations, which first surfaced in March 2021. Watson didn’t play last season for the Houston Texans as the cases mounted.

For nearly 40 minutes, Watson was asked about his character, the charges against him and how he’ll attempt to rebuild his image. He understands there are people who will never believe him.