As expected, clips are leaked from Deshaun Watson deposition


The deposition testimony developed to date in the 22 Deshaun Watson civil cases aren’t subject to any type of protective order restricting their release to the media. As a result, a portion of Watson’s swornn testimony has been leaked to the media. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the leak was made by lawyer Tony Buzbee, who represents the 22 plaintiffs.

The edited clips given by Buzbee to Fox 8 in Cleveland undoubtedly were intended to make Watson look bad. For example, the clips include an admission from Watson that he didn’t tell the Texans or his personal trainer that he was arranging private massages through social media.

Then there’s this objectively implausible exchange, regarding one of the specific massage therapists.

Q: Did you find her attractive?

A: That wasn’t my intention, sir.

Q: I didn’t ask you what your intentions were.

A: I can’t answer that. I have a girlfriend, so that wasn’t my intention, sir.

Q: So you can’t answer that because you have a girlfriend?

A: Because that’s not what I was looking for.

Q: What did you want from her?

A: Just a massage.

Apart from the fact that having a girlfriend doesn’t prevent Watson from concluding that a given massage therapist was attractive to him, the “I have a girlfriend” logic collapses when considering that attorney Rusty Hardin admitted last April that some of the massage sessions arranged by Watson became consensual sexual encounters. Unless each of those occurred at a time when Watson didn’t have a girlfriend, the entire line of questioning harms his credibility.

In these cases, Watson’s credibility becomes critical. He faces 22 civil claims that boil down to he said/she said disputes of fact, with no witnesses in the room to break the tie. Watson’s overall believability must be impeccable.

Although the clip leaked to Fox 8 likely is the worst snippet Buzbee could harvest, it’s problematic. And it’s an indication that Watson allowed the temptation to engage in swordplay with the opposing lawyer to overcome his primary obligation to tell the truth in response to each and every question asked, and to leave it to his lawyer to try to secure a victory based on a record of testimony that, from Watson, represents the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

If Watson can be characterized as having told something other than the truth on any relevant topic, it becomes more difficult to convince a neutral jury that he’s telling the truth when he denies 22 different allegations of wrongdoing.

Of course, the credibility of the alleged victims becomes critical, too. To date, their testimony hasn’t been leaked.

79 responses to “As expected, clips are leaked from Deshaun Watson deposition

  1. “Of course, the credibility of the alleged victims becomes critical, too. To date, their testimony hasn’t been leaked.”


    There are obvious other reasons their testimony hasn’t been leaked, but one of them is that Tony Buzbee is more of a sleazebag lawyer than Rusty Hardin.

  2. Meh, not so sure. Not defending Watson, and I understand this is a civil and not criminal trial, but this doesn’t contradict his “consensual” argument. So he caved when he had a girlfriend and had didn’t care when he didn’t have one.

  3. Oh boy! Brownies should probably say, “ummm just kidding” about the whole money guaranteed contract. This might not end well.

  4. What nonsense! It makes him look bad to not tell his team or trainers he booked massages? He’s a grown man. A multi millionaire. People get massages every day…do you inform your employer if they are outside of the scope of your job?? U can’t possibly think every massage received by a pro sports athlete is reported. For what???

  5. So they were edited and framed to make something appear improper rather than an unedited version so people can see the actual statements made. Wow when your side is losing, youre really losing.

  6. Really, that’s the most damning leak? Seems pretty weak all things considered.

  7. I’d honestly think this will only work in Watson’s favor to ask the judge to dismiss the entire suit with prejudice.

  8. Watson is a fool for letting this drag on, he’s also getting terrible legal counsel. Clearly, he’s a liability to himself and his defense

  9. Asking if he found the masseuse attractive is “the worst snippet Buzbee could harvest”?

  10. If that’s the best Buzbee has, I’d expect Hardin is going to say “see you in court”. Sure, Watson could have simply said yes, and then later deny that he found her sexually attractive, that you can find someone attractive in a non-sexual way, etc. But I actually think his answer came off as pretty believable.

  11. Tony saw that guaranteed money so still out there fishing for a check. No criminal charges, move along

  12. Phew!! I’m relieved… give this guy another quarter billion guaranteed. Got any more 1st rounders we can throw around to celebrate?!

  13. I cannot see this ending well for Watson, the Browns, or the NFL. Thanks for being on top of this story Mike.

  14. It is useful to also point out… If the testimony buzby leaked is the worst in the deposition then… Watson looks not so bad… Fir instance bobbing and weaving around whether you find another woman attractive when you have a girlfriend is something most men have had to manage, albeit not in a grand jury.

  15. Maybe the Browns might want to keep Baker around for a while just in case

  16. It seems like a witch hunt if the prosecuting attorney is leaking deposition information

  17. Tony Buzbee is the issue here. If anyone fails to see this- 1.) look to the lack of Indictments, and look to the lack of alacrity in these civil cases. Buzbee is desperate.

    Buzbee should prepare to be sued to the Nth degree.

  18. This is why lawyers, and the NFL front office, are so universally disliked. I will say though, if that’s the worst thing Buzbee can come up with, his cases are going to unravel.

  19. If you aren’t going to take your lawyers advice,why did you hire them? As one that has relied on an attorney to minimize my own punishment earned by my own stupidity,it can be difficult to follow their advice,but wise to let them handle the legalities.

  20. i saw this. it really is not good. If he drags out these charges and doesn’t settle and plays the first season while the trials are pending and then may lose few of those cases and then gets suspended in year two of his contract by the NFL he is going to lose massive coin. He might want to rethink this.

  21. Why would Watson tell the Texans or his personal trainer that he was arranging massage’s for himself if those people are not paying for it. Does anyone tell there employer what they are doing outside of work ?
    The other answers he gave I see nothing wrong with. Not how I would have answered but not in the least bit were the answers he gave anything that would make me doubt his credibility. If this is the best they have they are getting nothing.

  22. He needs to do whatever it takes to settle this and get it sealed up ASAP! Otherwise, I don’t think this whole thing is going to end as well for him as he thinks it will.

  23. I really don’t think this ends well for Cleveland at all. Wether it’s salary cap, draft Capitol, Watson turning into a complete legal and ethical circus, or just the ownership doing god knows what. Maybe another corporate fraudulent case pops up? Who knows. Sorry Browns fans.

  24. Answering such an innocuous question in that manner is a sign of over-lawyering I’m getting Watson prepped for his depos. All he had to say was “Well, yes. She is an attractive person. I think most people would agree.” As in, ‘so what?’ Just because one person recognizes other people as being attractive is neither a negative thing, nor a threatening thing, nor a thing indicative of future bad behavior. It’s a pretty weak plank to use as a foundation in order to build up some larger accusation, and it shouldn’t be avoided at the expense of making Watson speak in circles.

  25. Waiting for a leak exposing Buzbee’s colluding with McNair. But not holding my breath.

  26. Nice try Tony. There’s nothing here. It’s the end of the road for you and your witch hunt.

  27. 22 women from all over the country. If he was just after a massage why so many different ones? It insults our intelligence. He has no credibility.

  28. So Tony tries to get a settlement as fast as he can after the new deal? Who would expect that?

  29. The answer are weird but he was probably forced into coming up with some kind of plausible deniability because it’s likely there are text exchanges between the women either before or after the massages that indicate his interest, or that he finds them attractive.

    Saying “No”, would instantly destroy his credibility, even though attractiveness is completely subjective, he may have stated it.

    Since he was given the opportunity for discovery, he knows what they have against him and the angle they’re going to employ so his legal team came up with this answer. For better or worse, it was his best advised defense.

    I believe we can all agree it sounds ridiculous, though.

  30. I’m not siding with Watson by any means, but if that’s the worst they can leak, he’ll get through this just fine. Just stating facts.

  31. If a reasonable person can question wether someone is being duplicitous or less than truthful when it’s their credibility that decides the matter before them that’s a major problem. Once credibility in someone is shaken in the eyes of others it can be impossible to rebuild. He with a couple words might put himself back in a place where is earnings, and his reputation are in grave danger and he is a young guy with lots of life presumably ahead of him.

  32. I think the biggest takeaway here is that he has a girlfriend. And who says money can’t buy you love?

  33. If that clip really is, as you say, “likely is the worst snippet Buzbee could harvest”, this isn’t going to have many smoking guns.

  34. If that’s all the opposing lawyer could come up with to “damage” Watson, it’s no wonder the grand juries did not indict.

  35. What a take…. This is “the worst” leaked by the Plaintiff attorney who clearly has motives. Just because he wasn’t going to let him get the snippet he was looking for (Q:You found her attractive? A:Yes.), so that it could show up in the media, does not mean he was not being forthright. He obviously anticipated where the attorney was going and avoided letting him.

    It’s also fair to point out that the grand jury did not indict Watson in two separate instances. If the legal body that “can indict a ham sandwich” found the allegations to be more likely false than true, it’s reasonable to think the full case in civil court is going to have an uphill battle.

    Watson could settle these at any point and he’s not. That refusal, to me, seems to indicate that he didn’t do anything illegal or malicious and this may well be a cash grab that cost him a year of his career and his reputation.

  36. Buzzard is sore Watson wasn’t indicted and all the promises he made to his clients are not going as plan. Back to working on public opinion.

  37. Why did they only become “victims” once they found out they could squeeze a lot of money out of Watson?

  38. what were you looking for just a massage… but we did have sex… this dudes credibility is in tatters. I will thoroughly enjoy watching him and the browns go down in flames.

  39. I don’t think it hurts his credibility. The question “Did you think she’s attractive”? leads obviously to “Did you want to have sex with her?”. Watson was answering the latter question.

  40. This is the worst they got on Watson?! That he found a woman attractive?! 0 game suspension!!

  41. He’ll pay them off soon, with Cleveland Browns cash. And Goodell will consider the matter closed.

  42. This clown is going to make the Brownies the most hated team in the league, and I’m pumped for it. Losers get what they deserve

  43. He doesn’t have any credibility. If the angle is to make him seem like an innocent victim who neither committed a crime nor took advantage of vulnerable women, he’s already lost. The defense has to be based on a lack of any solid evidence and anything that can make the accusers look like they are after money.

  44. Buzbee should have been disbarred years ago. This man stands for everything wrong with our Justice System.

  45. At this point, the court of public opinion already ruled, and the league doesn’t care…

  46. footballpat says:
    March 29, 2022 at 9:08 pm
    The problem is not Watson’s testimony it’s leaking depositions.

    Depositions are part of the court/case record. Court records are open to the public unless there is some form of confidentiality or gag order.

  47. smarterthanmost says:
    March 29, 2022 at 10:41 pm
    It seems like a witch hunt if the prosecuting attorney is leaking deposition information

    There is no prosecuting attorney in this situation. This is a civil case. There are attorneys for the plaintiffs and the defendant.

  48. Not being prosecuted due to lack of admissible evidence is a long way from innocent. Watson used his position as a wealthy professional athlete to take advantage of women. Whether he is held responsible and punished or not does not deter from the fact that he is a reprehensible morally degenerate person. If you as an owner and/or fan of a team that can live with that so be it. I could not. Had he showed some remorse and effort to make some sort of restitution in time he could be given a second chance. Ie Vick. He shows none of this so don’t be surprised if this behavior rears it’s ugly head in the future. Just one mans opinion.

  49. This makes all of the “where there’s smoke there’s fire” and “maybe if it were only a couple, but 22? Throw him in jail” crowd, look REALLY foolish.

    Oh wait, that’s BEEN obvious.

  50. His answers are painting him as elusive and not completely forthright. Watson claims he has nothing to hide then why is he dodging questions? At best he’s going to come out of this as a dishonest cheater to his girlfriend and that’s IF all of these claims are 100 percent false which in all likely hood are not. At worst, their should be more than enough claims that paint a picture of a serial predator using his influence to prey upon attractive women to get his jollies discreetly.

  51. what did you expect him to do, tell the truth, whole truth and noting but the truth? come on he should have just plead the 5th. He bamboozeled the browns into guaranteeing all his money, my bet he never plays again and gets paid 240M, the greatest trick in the history of the world.

    and why is this being compared to ben’s cases? ben got 4 games for 2 allegations, so if ben is the lithmus test then shouldnt the discipline be 4 games for every 2 allegations??

  52. With the 1st pick of the 2023 draft, the Cleveland Browns select QB…. From, anywhere…. So sad for Cleveland.

  53. Something tells me Watson is going to get taken to the cleaners. Those statements seem to show Watson dancing around the truth and trying to find clever answers instead of being honest. There’s nothing wrong with saying someone is attractive. Watson is digging himself a hole. I wonder how the Browns feel about their new $230M QB. They just sank a quarter of a billion dollars into a guy who can’t seem to tell the truth.

  54. springfield says:
    March 30, 2022 at 11:12 am
    With the 1st pick of the 2023 draft, the Cleveland Browns select QB…. From, anywhere…. So sad for Cleveland.

    Um… they don’t have that pick any more.

  55. I am not a lawyer, but I have watched My Cousin Vinny. I assume that since there will be no criminal trial Buzbee will want to keep this in the media so that Watson will want to settle quickly. The longer this is being played out in public makes Watson, the Browns and the NFL look bad. I assume that there will be leaks until the cases are settled.

  56. Sure, we can all say that the “I have a girlfriend” excuse is lame, but how on earth can anyone prove that Watson found the masseuse attractive? Are we claiming that there’s an objective element to attractiveness? That’s nonsense.

  57. His last response will be an easily proven lie. Any action he did that is contrary to that one answer sinks his ship. He better settle or he’s toast.

  58. Some say Watson is holding a smoking gun, some say if this is the worse, then 0 games. Who’s right? We shall see.

  59. Okay, okay…. Did they trade their 2024 1st round pick too? Goodness, they did…. 2025 too? Oh geez, how embarrassing. Guess you’ll always have Baker, he’s clearly not wanted.

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