Tony Buzbee fires back at Rusty Hardin’s claims on behalf of Deshaun Watson

USA TODAY Sports

During his first press conference on behalf of Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, attorney Rusty Hardin made a significant admission. Hardin acknowledged that some of the massages Watson arranged eventually became consensual sexual encounters.

On Friday night, attorney Tony Buzbee, representative of the 22 women suing Watson in civil court, responded on social media.

I respect attorney Rusty Hardin,” Buzbee said. “He’s one of the best lawyers our great state has to offer. He’s a true legend. He is a colleague, and I consider him a friend. I hope he agrees. But today he conceded that his client gets two to three massages a week — that equates to more than a 150 massages yearly — outside the vast Texans organization that has trainers and massage therapists, etc. Watson sought these women out, according to the admissions of Mr. Hardin, via social media, particularly Instagram. Most if not all of the different women Watson reached out to by direct message. I think we can all agree that is a bit strange.

“But here is my problem: Mr. Hardin, in his press conference, also stated that, from his client’s perspective, some or more of these massage interactions with my clients, both licensed and unlicensed therapists, became sexual because they were ‘consensual.’ NO.

“I can tell you from my clients’ perspectives THESE INTERACTIONS WERE NOT CONSENSUAL. ‘No’ means no. That’s all.”

The public back and forth between Buzbee and Hardin undoubtedly will continue. Despite some missteps of his own, Buzbee for the most part has been winning the battle in the court of public opinion.

30 responses to “Tony Buzbee fires back at Rusty Hardin’s claims on behalf of Deshaun Watson

  1. To all the ‘stick a fork in him’ folks, I bet ya a hundo he’s playing somewhere like ATL by 2023.

  2. Buzbee from the get go lied about knowing MacNairs, lied about not being Texans fan or following football. All have been shown to be no true.

    Since then i find it hard to root for this man. Hence remain nuetral on this issue. Not sure what or who to believe.

  3. I’m not a lawyer, but from my perspective Rusty Hardin HURT his clients chances with a jury when he publicly admitted that his client has had consensual sexual relations with ANY massage therapist.

  4. My guess:

    Deshaun loves massage therapists. He finds the hottest ones from around the country and hires them to come to him. At some point during the massage he asks for extra stuff for a tip. Some accept, some decline. The ones that declined initiated the lawsuits. Those that accepted joined the lawsuit and are claiming abuse. Deshaun is pinched because he can’t admit to soliciting prostitution. They all anticipate getting paid. He’s in a pickle and will pay one way or another. Tony Buzbee found a way to profit off of all of it. The end.

  5. He said.
    She said.
    Buzbee said.

    Just get it to court and let it play out.
    Trial by media isn’t doing anything constructive.

  6. Sadly, I believe Mr Watson may believe everything that happened was consensual. He’s famous, a star athlete, and a true physical specimen. I imagine women, an maybe even some men, have thrown themselves at him. I suspect he thinks every woman wants him. Probably thinks that tossing off the towel and exposing himself during a massage is a smooth move that most women can’t resist.

    Unfortunately for Deshaun, like many other sexual predators that think their victims “want it” or are “asking for it”, he is wrong. Not every woman wants him. Not every massage therapist does extras. Not every woman is turned on by what is generally referred to as indecent exposure. But he has been a star for so long with every whim accommodated and surrounded by enablers that he just doesn’t get it.

    I suspect Hardin has a bit of puke in his throat over what he is doing and knows full well that his client behaved badly and not all his interactions were consensual. Hopefully he is just trying to get to a settlement sooner and is advising his client to do just that and, as Deshaun’s other people commented in the leaked settlement exchange, try to teach Deshaun a lesson about the real world the rest of us live in. If he somehow wins, which seems unlikely, all he will have done is add his name to the list of enablers.

  7. This pattern of behavior is predatory. If he needed legit massage treatment, the Texans would have facilitated that. Trolling instagram was for something other than a therapeutic massage. Predatory and gross.

  8. Buzbee’s point about the numbers involved sounds like a hint that this onion is just getting peeled.

  9. Sir, do you have any video of the woman saying no? Did she call the police? Did you not try to make this go away for $100K? Sir, this just seems fishy. Seems like an attempt to extort money.

  10. Admitting to sex before the trial has even begun. He’s done.

    What a complete and total bummer. I’m not even remotely close to a Texans fan, I’ve enjoyed watching all of their losses as a chiefs fan. But I really like Watson and Watts. I just couldn’t root against them. I hope JJ finds success in AZ, he deserves it. The Texans as an organization deserves exactly what they’re going through. The fans don’t.

  11. If Hardin does not seek an extension of time to file Watson’s responses and files them on time on April 19, 2021, the judge should declare that the issues are now set, and that a gag order will be imposed on all parties and attorneys. Take note that Buzbee is now complimenting Hardin which may mean he is trying to avoid judicial sanctions for daring Hardin to file the motion to compel the plaintiffs to file under their own names or he still thinks a settlement is in play. I recall Kenny Rogers’ old hit about knowing when to hold them, when to fold them, and when to walk away. If Buzbee believes that his clients can persuade a Houston jury to find Watson liable, then hold them; but if Buzbee knows that his clients will be shaky under cross-examination, it may be time to fold them and claim a pyrrhic victory over Watson for the damage done to Watson’s reputation in social media. Because of that reputational damage, though, Watson will be out, not to settle, but to claim his pound of flesh from all concerned.

  12. He was hiring massage therapists on Instagram and wanted a happy ending, his lawyer even admitted it.

  13. This was predictable.

    We’ve gone from “complete denial” to the “it was casual sex” routine.

    I’m sure he’ll go to counselling for being addicted to sex next.

  14. Every time some dude named Buzbee speaks on this case the less credible I think it all is. You think he is winning the battle in the court of public opinion? I don’t, because with very, very rare exceptions public opinion always assumes the worse. It just is until someone makes an actual move.

  15. Is it safe to say at this point that Deshaun is a professional massagee that also happens to play football sometimes.

  16. At least we seem to Have confirmation as to what this is all about. Given that the criminal complaint was taken to the police weeks or months after the interaction, it seems difficult to believe that there would be any evidence available to a prosecutor that would prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Watson forced himself on the woman. As PFT noted, civil proceedings have lower standard of proof. I think the NFL would be best served by seeing what is presented in Court before making a judgment. On one hand, they should not allow a sexual predator to play football, but on the other hand they should not kill someone’s career over unfounded allegations. At this point, there is no clear evidence made public to indicate which way this case will go. The Court proceedings should bring more clarity.

  17. All I see is accusations. Which is something that anyone can do. I have seen no proof of any wrong doing on Watsons part. One thing I do agree with that Buzbee said is that Hardin is one of the best in the business. I think he will eat Buzbee’s lunch.

  18. It is the method that he initiated the ‘consensual’ proposal that will have him writing a monster check.

  19. Deshaun Watson has become this offseason’s Antonio Brown. Seems like every day, there’s multiple articles published about him.

  20. For everyone who is claiming Hardin hurt his client by disclosing that he had sex with some of the therapists.

    I suspect he did because there is no way he can hide it.

    For instance, maybe the non-disclosures STATE you can’t mention that they had sex. So how do you hide that.

  21. I don’t know what’s worse. DeShaun Watson being stupid enough to put himself in this situation…or the people that support him.

    Nobody, NOBODY, has 41+ therapists work on their body over a 1 or 2 year period. Certainly not a pro athlete.

    A pro athlete treats their body like a temple. You are certainly not going to hire a teeth whitener or an esthetician to give you a massage. When you request a swedish massage and she says “I’m not experienced in that but I’m willing to learn”, you say “sorry, I need some one that has experience in that field”.

    You might have 2 or 3 massage therapists, and then another 3 or 4 supplied by the team, but you try to have the same people work on your body as often as possible so they get to know your body and can treat it properly for optimal performance.

    I do.

  22. Except even your clients said from the beginning that he didn’t force them to do anything. This guy is making a mockery of the court system.

  23. Rusty should remember the rule Everything you say can and will be held against you. …and your client.

  24. In the end…if found guilty should be suspended indefinitely and be registered as a sex offender…but don’t convict or acquit based on what you read in the news or blogs, it’s not fair to anyone.

  25. This case is now clearly about consent vs. coercion. Hardin’s admission of consensual sex with masseuses effectively makes it impossible for Buzzbee to leverage Watson with that fact. It thus also reduces the amount those without evidence of coercion can seek from Watson.

    The clear message: Consensual sex — even if money was exchanged — is not sexual assault. If the evidence backs that up in a civil trial Hardin/Watson will win or, more likely Buzzbee’s clients settle for a small payment. Perhaps one or two of Buzzbee’s clients, following his statement will seek more or even criminal prosecution.

  26. Nonetheless, even if Watson is not convicted a fine and lengthy suspension is likely coming.

  27. fmcken says:
    April 10, 2021 at 11:18 am
    In the end…if found guilty should be suspended indefinitely and be registered as a sex offender…but don’t convict or acquit based on what you read in the news or blogs, it’s not fair to anyone.
    ————————————————————————————————————-
    If the Houston DA files charges and obtain a conviction, the Watson would be put on the sex registry in accordance with Texas law. A finding against him in civil court though will not get him on the registry.

  28. If he truly just needed a massage for his sports injuries, then he’d have no problem with a 250 pound masseur named Bubba, right?

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