Ashley Solis, the first woman to file sexual assault claims against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, wipes away tears while giving her statement during a news conference on Tuesday in Houston. Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP

HOUSTON — The first woman to accuse Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson of sexual assault and harassment in a lawsuit spoke publicly on Tuesday, alleging she was terrorized by her encounter with the NFL player and that he needs to be held accountable for his actions.

During a news conference, Ashley Solis said she was assaulted and traumatized when she tried to give Watson a massage in March 2020. The Associated Press usually does not name victims of sexual assault, but Solis has chosen to publicly identify herself.

“I come forward now so that Deshaun Watson does not assault another woman… I am seeking justice not just on behalf of myself but for all survivors… This is about having my voice heard,” a tearful Solis said as she read a statement, adding she was no longer afraid to speak out. Watson has been accused of sexual assault or harassment in lawsuits filed by 22 women.

Solis’ description of her encounter with Watson, in which he allegedly touched her with his penis during the massage session, mirrors the accusations made by the other women in their lawsuits. They accuse Watson of exposing himself, touching them with his penis or kissing them against their will while he got a massage. At least one woman has alleged Watson forced her to perform oral sex during a massage in December. All of the women who have sued Watson are either licensed massage therapists or worked in a spa or similar business. The first lawsuit – from Solis – was filed on March 16 and the most recent one was filed Monday.

Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, has called the allegations “meritless” and questioned the claims against Watson, alleging they were made following a failed attempt to blackmail his client for $30,000.

The Houston Police Department said last week it was investigating Watson after a complainant had filed a report with the agency about Watson. Tony Buzbee, who represents the 22 women, said it was not Solis but another of his clients who filed the first report with police.


Solis said in her statement that since the alleged assault, she suffers from panic attacks, anxiety, depression and is no longer comfortable working as a massage therapist.

“I got into massage therapy to heal people, to heal their minds and bodies, to bring peace to their souls. Deshaun Watson has robbed me of that,” Solis said, adding that her lawsuit was not about seeking money.

But in a statement, Hardin, alleged that Buzbee sought “$100,000 in hush money” on behalf of Solis before she filed her lawsuit.

Hardin’s statement included copies of February emails between Buzbee’s firm and Scott Gaffield, an attorney for Watson, discussing the $100,000 settlement.

“My email exchanges… were very clear. 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,” Gaffield said in a statement.

At Tuesday’s news conference, an attorney with Buzbee’s firm read a letter written by another of the women who has accused Watson of sexual assault and has also chosen to be publicly identified.


In the letter, Lauren Baxley called Watson “a predator with power” and alleged he touched her with his penis multiple times during a massage session. She said that after the session, she felt shame and terror that no one would believe her.

“There is trauma associated with unwanted sexual contact and assault in a place that’s meant to bring peace and therapy, but there are even deeper terrors that you have brought into my life,” Baxley said.

In a recent email to season-ticket holders, Houston Texans chairman Cal McNair, whose family owns the team, said they were aware of the lawsuits against Watson and that the team takes “these allegations very seriously.”

“While we await the conclusion of these investigations, we express our strong stance against any form of sexual assault. Our family and the entire Houston Texans organization are deeply troubled by any form of abuse and we condemn this type of behavior,” McNair said.

The NFL has said it’s investigating the allegations against Watson.

VIKINGS: Cornerback Jeff Gladney turned himself in to Dallas County Jail in Texas on Monday after an arrest warrant was issued on a family violence assault charge involving an altercation with a woman on Friday.


Gladney, a 2020 first-round draft pick who started 15 games as a rookie, faces a third-degree felony charge, which carries a possible sentence of 2 to 10 years in prison, according to CBS 11 News in Dallas-Fort Worth.

In a statement, the Dallas police department said Gladney, 24, and a 22-year-old woman “were involved in a verbal altercation over content in a cell phone” on Friday.

“The altercation escalated, at which time Mr. Gladney physically assaulted the victim,” the statement added. “Mr. Gladney left the location prior to officers’ arrival. There was a warrant for Assault-Family Violence for Mr. Gladney’s arrest and he turned himself into the Dallas County Jail April 5, 2021.”

Dallas County Sheriff’s Department said Gladney turned himself in at 11:20 a.m. Monday, posted bond and was released four minutes later.

Citing anonymous sources and an arrest affidavit, CBS 11 reported Gladney became upset over the woman’s text messages and tried “shoving” her face toward her phone to try to use its Face ID to unlock the phone, “pulling (her) by her hair trying to hold her still.”

According to the TV report, the woman, who said she was in a relationship with Gladney, accused him of striking her “with closed fists, causing pain in the side of her ribs, in the stomach and the back, and hitting her with an open hand across the head.”


She also accused Gladney of “strangling (her) by the neck, which impeded her breathing for approximately 5 seconds” after they returned to an apartment complex in Dallas. The woman alleged that Gladney grabbed her by her hair while the vehicle was moving and dragged her across the ground.

Attempts to reach Gladney’s agent, Brian Overstreet, were unsuccessful.

LIONS: Detroit Lions have signed cornerback Quinton Dunbar.

Dunbar had armed robbery charges dropped against him last year in a case that involved New York Giants defensive back DeAndre Baker, who also was cleared.

PACKERS QB Aaron Rodgers got quite the surprise in his first episode as a guest host of “Jeopardy!”

Contestant Scott Shewfelt was stumped on the final question of the episode that aired Monday. He decided to reply by referencing a controversial Packers strategic decision in last season’s NFC championship game as he wrote, “Who wanted to kick that field goal?”


The Packers trailed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-23 and had fourth-and-goal at the 8-yard line with just over two minutes when they opted to kick a field goal rather than going for the touchdown. Mason Crosby made the field goal, but the Bucs took the kickoff and maintained possession the rest of the way to win 31-26.

When Shewfelt’s question appeared on the screen, Rodgers paused before saying, “That is a great question. It should be correct, but unfortunately for this game today, it’s incorrect.”

The “Jeopardy!” Twitter account later posted a behind-the-scenes video in which Rodgers told Shewfelt, “I can see (your answer) out on the podium, and I was like, `Please put something about the field goal on there. You will always be all-time in my book, my friend.’ ”

When Rodgers had been asked about the field-goal decision after the game, he said “I didn’t have a decision on that one.” Rodgers later added, “That wasn’t my decision, but I understand the thinking, above two minutes with all of our timeouts, but it wasn’t my decision.”

Rodgers is hosting “Jeopardy!” for the next two weeks as the show goes through a series of guest hosts to replace Alex Trebek, who died of cancer on Nov. 8.

Comments are not available on this story.