Condoleezza Rice is a diehard Browns fan, so you knew that she would eventually be confronted with questions about the team’s new quarterback, Deshaun Watson.
The former Secretary of State gave her take on his sexual allegations, but did not register a strong opinion on the situation.
Rice spoke today via online chat at a press conference at Firestone Country Club in Akron.
“I’m someone who believes you keep an open mind until all of the facts are evident,” Rice said, via Cleveland.com. “I know the league is doing an investigation, the Browns have done an investigation. I will just wait to see what the outcome is. These are serious matters. I think every woman feels that these are serious matters, but hopefully, people will get to the bottom of it and we’ll see where we are in a couple of months.”
Watson, who is currently facing two dozen civil lawsuits from women alleging sexual misconduct, addressed reporters Tuesday for the first time in more than two months to once again proclaim his innocence.
“I’ve been honest and I’ve been truthful,” Watson said. “I never forced anyone, I never assaulted anyone. I’ve been saying it from the beginning, and I’m gonna continue to do that until all the facts come out.”
Twenty-four women have publicly sued the QB for his actions as an alleged “serial sexual predator,” with The New York Times recently reporting that Watson courted at least 66 women over the course of 17 months for private massage therapy sessions.
Watson continued to deny any wrongdoing in his press conference Tuesday, shrugging off a question about 25th and 26th accusers reportedly preparing to come forward: “I can’t control what the other side is doing with the legal process.”
“My biggest thing is just wanting to clear my name,” he said. “I never assaulted, disrespected or harassed anyone. But at the same time, I do understand that I do have regrets as far as the impact it’s had on the community, and people outside of just myself, and that includes my family, that includes this organization, that includes my teammates in this locker room that have to answer to these questions, that includes the fan base of the Cleveland Browns, that includes males, females, everyone across the world. That’s one thing I do regret, the impact that it’s triggered on so many people, and it’s tough to have to deal with.”
The NFL is expected to rule on Watson at some point this summer.