Rusty Hardin’s latest statement on behalf of Deshaun Watson raises more questions

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In an effort to score points in the court of public opinion, lawyer Rusty Hardin has released three statements on behalf of Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. All of those statements have raised separate questions regarding the allegations contained in 21 lawsuits against Watson.

The latest statement, which contains on-the-record accounts from 18 massage therapists who claim that Watson engaged in no misconduct with them and, for some of the 18 massage therapists, attacked the credibility of those who allege otherwise, has prompted many to do the math and to ask the simple question of whether it makes sense for Watson to have had at least 40 different massage therapists in such a relatively small window of time.

Former NFL offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod fueled that skepticism with a now-deleted tweet in response to our item regarding the latest Hardin statement. “I played 12 years,” Bushrod tweeted, “I think I had half of that throughout my whole career.”

Bushrod, in response to the tweet, was asked by another user whether football players usually stick with one massage therapist for an extended period of time.

“Yes,” Bushrod said in the reply, which also has been deleted. “No way I could have multiple therapists per game week.”

This doesn’t mean Watson did something wrong with the 21 plaintiffs who have sued him or the woman who told her story (but hasn’t sued Watson) to SI.com. But it does cause many to ask why Watson or anyone would need to have 40 different massage therapists. Which opens the door to prompting more questions as to why he has so many massages with so many different people.

Also, the claims from 18 massage therapists that Watson acted appropriately doesn’t necessarily mean the other 21 are incorrect are lying. It’s possible that all 40 people are telling the truth.

It’s also possible that the rules of evidence in Texas will regard any testimony from these 18 massage therapists as inadmissible in a civil or, if it happens, criminal case. But anything and everything is admissible in the court of public opinion. The real question is whether Hardin’s latest effort to boost Watson’s case there has helped, has hurt, or has had no net impact.

52 responses to “Rusty Hardin’s latest statement on behalf of Deshaun Watson raises more questions

  1. The one thing that makes me believe Watson is in trouble is the allegation he was recruiting people on Instagram and flying them out to give him a massage. That just makes no sense, especially since some of them were unlicensed. That would impact my thinking a lot if I were a juror.

  2. Having 40 plus different masseuses’ means that he clearly violated NFL covid protocols. Flying women in from Arizona, Georgia and California is also in breach of NFL and State covid protocols. The NFL will have no choice but to suspend him for a minimum of half a season just for that alone. That isn’t even taking into account the actual charges.

    The NFL has been extreme about players, coaches, etc. following covid protocols and players were supposed to be using in house and ” tested ” personnel for their needs.

    The barber for the Kansas City Chiefs before the Super Bowl had to be covid tested.

    This would be Watson’s second clear breach of covid protocols after his restaurant opening.

  3. 40. I don’t think I’ve had 40 total massages in my life. 40 different people the same year? Less than a year really. That’s a few a week that we know about.

  4. I wonder if there are overlaps between the two groups? Filed via Buzbee anonymously but then approached by Hardin/Watson and pressured to say something publicly and afraid not to. If nothing else, the 18 show that Watson knows who has given him massages so, assuming there are no overlaps, who presumably who the accusers are by their unwillingness to provide public support. Unless there are way more than 40.

  5. was he getting 4-5 massages a day? dude was constantly on a table

  6. So, that’s 40 we know about. There might be 40 more who haven’t come forward.

  7. Funny that when Buzbee got down to the time he was to submit SWORN affidavits to the police, suddenly he doesn’t want the police involved.

  8. Has it ever helped a suspected bank robber to have reps from other banks testify, “well, he never robbed my bank.”?

    I just don’t see how this helps him. This doesn’t discredit the accusers in the least and only fuels the questions posed in the article.

  9. If something smells like a fish, its a fish … 40 different massage therapists

  10. Who doesn’t have 18 Massage therapists that would vouch for them? Come on.

  11. I think Hardin feels he needs to stop the bleeding.

    But like Florio said, it’s possible all 40 are telling the truth.

    Only time will tell.

  12. That was my thought, I was wondering why so many different therapists and then also why not one that is appointed by the team? I figured that teams would have someone on the payroll for this almost like a strength and conditioning coach and nutritionist.

  13. So even an NFL player confirms that Watson had an abnormal amount of message therapists.

  14. If your daughter was a massage therapist would you trust him and feel comfortable with her giving him a massage?

    Neither would I.

  15. Rusty Hardin seems to want this to go on for a while. The Roger Clemens case lasted a while and Clemens was at criminal risk but was found not guilty of perjury. Clemens had a lot more money due to his many years in Major League Baseball making huge money. The client (Deshaun Watson) should be questioned over and over for the truth so Hardin could come up with a strategy that works. Watson might be innocent but even in business companies pay settlements just to move on and avoid further risk!

  16. There’s just too many women that have come forward, it doesn’t look good

  17. Buzbee said the HPD contacted him. They didnt. Then Buzbee said he was going to contact HPD. He didnt. Now he says he wont be bringing the evidence to the HPD. Keep believing this isnt simply a money grab and character assassination by the Texans.

  18. Hardin’s statement is his attempt at an April Fools joke. I’m wondering when Watson found time to play football! 🙂 Apparently he had a lot of really sore muscles. Welcome to another chapter of “As the Stomach Turns.”

  19. Deshaun’s massage therapist collection is bigger than my baseball card collection when I was a kid.

  20. When in the history of making statements in response to criminal and/or civil lawsuits have making statements ever helped?

    Never!

  21. It definitely hurt him for all of the reasons you just mentioned. Who has that many different massage therapists, and why aren’t you just sticking to the FREE therapy offered by your team at the team facility. He’s toast IMO

  22. Does Watson hire a different therapist for different body parts? This doesn’t make any sense.

  23. Unless the therapist travels with him, and he wants someone not a trainer to work on him on game day, that is 10 a year.

  24. Each player is different. Everyone has different bodies, if he had too many massages, whatever. Maybe it’s working for him, athletes do weird things, what if after a loss he would get a new one. Texans lost alot of games!

  25. Anybody else interested to see what the Texans do in the draft as it pertains to the QB position? They pretty much have to take one w their first pick. Will they trade up for one? Just can’t see Watson starting week 1 or anytime soon after that.

  26. In a time of covid, its very reasonable to have a high number of therapists. Normal places were on shut down and im sure high class therapists had a booking rate that was full for their clients personal visits so no choice but to sub out with whoever can do the job.

  27. Forty plus massage therapists and all of them women? C’mon man! If all these massages were supposedly for professional reasons then being a women would not be a prerequisite.

  28. There’s at least 40 therapists that we know of…so far. That’s a lot. There may be more that will come forward, and maybe some more that will not. It’s still a big number.

  29. @ supercharger

    With the 67th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans take Kellen Mond from Texans A&M.

  30. 40+ massage therapists, all of them women, and even some testimony in support of him that could reasonablly be interpreted to suggest troubling patterns of behavior = Hardin opening a can of worms while trying to bolster his defense.

  31. It’s a civil case. Understand they have zero burden of proof to file. Some person you’ve never met or seen can sue you for sexual harassment. Please learn the difference between civil cases and criminal cases. Criminal requires some proof…civil requires zero proof. Both offer trials. All of Watson cases are civil and the police looking into them have found NO evidence.

  32. 40+ Therapists.
    Some of them weren’t even Massage Therapists (a teeth whitener, an esthetician, one woman said Watson requested a Swedish massage which she didn’t know how to do but was willing to learn).
    All during a 1 year period.
    All of them women.

  33. The nfl may punish him, but I don’t see how this goes anywhere otherwise. Where’s the evidence? The number of accusations isn’t going to do it. Someone will have to produce evidence he engaged in these behaviors, other than affidavits. It doesn’t sound like it’s going to be a criminal case. Are they really going to take this to trial? These women won’t even go on the record right now with their names. They’re going to testify? I just don’t see it. Most likely it settles and/or the NFL suspends him.

  34. He could have 1,000000000 of these women say he was never inappropriate with them it DOESNT matter the other ones said he was.

  35. Anyone can legally see 1,00 therapists if they wish, but they can’t sexually assault a single one of them. So far, I don’t see any evidence of a crime, or a phone call to police. How did all these women have something awful happen to them without a single phone call to police? It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to find out the Texans were behind this. That is actually much easier to believe than anything else I’ve read about this story.

  36. “It’s a civil case. Understand they have zero burden of proof to file. Some person you’ve never met or seen can sue you for sexual harassment. Please learn the difference between civil cases and criminal cases. Criminal requires some proof…civil requires zero proof. Both offer trials. All of Watson cases are civil and the police looking into them have found NO evidence.”

    Totally incorrect. An attorney has a legal and an ethical duty to have facts supporting the filing of a civil case. Otherwise, the attorney may be subject to bar association discipline and be facing a malicious prosecution case.

    Also, the police have yet to investigate any of these cases, so it is certainly incorrect to say that they have not found any evidence.

  37. “These women won’t even go on the record right now with their names. They’re going to testify? I just don’t see it.”

    The “they should put their name on it” crowd is either naive or intentionally disingenuous. Just imagine the harassment, including death threats, that these women would be subjected to if their names were publicly known.

  38. He gets a massage every day, and probably two per day during the season. He’s been in the league 4 years. He probably averages between 250-400 massages a year. For those of you trying to comprehend this based on how often you get massages, don’t. Professional athletes require body maintenance like regular folks don’t. The claims that people like Lebron and James Harrison spend up to $1 million/year on their body, what do you think they’re spending money on? Massage therapy, training, rehab, facilities, etc. The amount of massages Deshaun Watson gets are normal for his job and the strain on his body, and when you think about him getting hundreds of massages a year, having 30-40 therapists would be normal, especially considering travel, scheduling, locations, etc. I don’t think the number of massages or massuses matters. I get a massage at least once a month, I love them (and I have a back issue). But if I had millions of dollars, I’d get a massage EVERY DAY. Though I will say, I’ve had the same masseuse for the last 5 or 6 years because her hands are magical.

  39. The number of therapists is proof of nothing. Remember, you don’t have to understand or like it, you aren’t a pro athlete. They get massages all the time. Just because you can’t fathom why means nothing. I don’t know why either, and I don’t care to use a number as baseless fodder for speculation.

  40. “Totally incorrect. An attorney has a legal and an ethical duty to have facts supporting the filing of a civil case. Otherwise, the attorney may be subject to bar association discipline and be facing a malicious prosecution case.”
    Well I’m happy for you that you live on the planet Pollyanna. I’m sure you’ve never heard of Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and all those other wack job lawyers who filed all those frivolous “voter fraud” lawsuits which weren’t “voter fraud” lawsuits once they entered the courtroom. You think they were worried about “bar association discipline or malicious prosecution” suits. Lawyers make up bs all the time hoping their bs is believed. Its especially true in this case where Buzzbee is pandering to the public and making phony promises of presenting evidence, just like Powell, Giuliani, et al kept doing. Finally when push came to shove there was no evidence, just hollow accusations.

  41. Seriously, the PFT pet detectives logic is hilarious. Its very obvious some on here can’t read, the poster that posted he had 40 massages in 1 year. Not sure what you read but your statement is 100% false. Anyone can make claims for money anonymously. What that also tells me is they are dishonest as the attorney that represents them. This whole charade is laughable. I will believe Watson and the therapists that vouched for him, which is more in line with his character, then the ambulance chaser and his anonymous money grabbers

  42. “Totally incorrect. An attorney has a legal and an ethical duty to have facts supporting the filing of a civil case. Otherwise, the attorney may be subject to bar association discipline and be facing a malicious prosecution case.”
    Well I’m happy for you that you live on the planet Pollyanna. I’m sure you’ve never heard of Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and all those other wack job lawyers who filed all those frivolous “voter fraud” lawsuits which weren’t “voter fraud” lawsuits once they entered the courtroom. You think they were worried about “bar association discipline or malicious prosecution” suits. Lawyers make up bs all the time hoping their bs is believed. Its especially true in this case where Buzzbee is pandering to the public and making phony promises of presenting evidence, just like Powell, Giuliani, et al kept doing. Finally when push came to shove there was no evidence, just hollow accusations”

    Trust me, I think that Giuliani and Powell are as sleazy as they come, and that the voter fraud suits were baseless. I will point out that Giuliani, Powell, and other attorneys who brought those cases are under investigation by multiple bar associations for frivolous filings.

  43. Alright, I’ll play along & say Deshaun “needs” 2 or 3 massages per day.

    Are we saying he needs at minimum 40 young female massage therapists on call to meet this need? Is it because their hands get tired? If that’s the reason, wouldn’t you think he would be seeing male massage therapists…at least sometimes? Why are they all young females, many he initiated through an Instagram message to them…? Where does the absurdity end?

  44. “Trust me, I think that Giuliani and Powell are as sleazy as they come, and that the voter fraud suits were baseless. I will point out that Giuliani, Powell, and other attorneys who brought those cases are under investigation by multiple bar associations for frivolous filings.”
    Agree, but it didn’t’t stop them from filing those lawsuits. Buzbee is betting on a settlement before it gets to court.

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