HBO posed simple question to one of Deshaun Watson’s lawyers: Why believe one man over 22 women?

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The strongest evidence against Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson arguably comes from the fact that so many different women who provided massages to him claim that he went too far, engaging ultimately in sexual misconduct. In all, 22 have sued him.

Although Watson declined to be interviewed for Tuesday night’s episode of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, one of Watson’s lawyers answered questions on the record. HBO has released some excerpts from the feature. Included was this key exchange between the reporter, Soledad O’Brien, and attorney Leah Graham:

Q: For Deshaun Watson to be innocent, 22 women would have to be lying. Why would the public believe one man versus 22 different women?

A: It’s 22 women. It’s one lawyer. There’s only one lawyer who was willing to take these cases. And as we know from Ashley Solis’ deposition, Mr. Buzbee was not the first, probably not the second or third lawyer she went to, but he was the only one to take her case. Why? Not because it had merit, but because he would use these cases to increase his social media following and quite frankly to get on shows like this one.

That’s a strong accusation. Basically, Graham claims that Tony Buzbee became the ringleader for a mob of 22 people who have meritless claims, pushing them forward with the sole purpose of adding to his social-media platform and “to get on shows like this one.”

Think about what Graham is really saying. She’s contend that 22 different women are wrong or lying or exaggerating or misinformed, and that their lawyer got all of them to proceed in order to boost his social-media presence and to get on TV.

If that’s the case, there would be and/or should be something from the depositions of the 22 women to show that they were recruited or manipulated or used. Common sense suggests that, of the 22, one or more of them would have complained at some point in the past 14 months to a friend or a family member in manner that could be used to show that the individual plaintiffs were indeed being manipulated in some way by Buzbee.

We’re not saying it didn’t happen this way. We’re just saying it won’t be easy to convince 22 juries, the NFL, and/or the court of public opinion that it did.

With two or three or four or five, it would be easier. With 22, it will be very difficult.

38 responses to “HBO posed simple question to one of Deshaun Watson’s lawyers: Why believe one man over 22 women?

  1. Graham is correct: Bisbee is an attention seeking ambulance chaser however, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

  2. No one sees this many different masseuses. Athletes most of all are very particular and careful about their bodies. This was predatory. The way he went about obtaining massages to the shear amount of complaints leads you to no other direction.

  3. He’s innocent until proven guilty, regardless of the number of accusers. HBO’s question is improper and troubling.

    We need to let the courts decide instead of pre-judgement which seems to prevail.

  4. Anyone remember the McMartin preschool trial in California in the 80’s where 100’s of parents accused the family of child abuse? Took 7 years but they were found NOT GULITY on all counts. Not saying it’s the same here. But it shows it does happen.

  5. There is a myriad of reasons why another attorney might not want to take Ashley’s case. Attorneys reject cases all of the time for any number of reasons.

  6. Best case scenario he’s just a creep not a predator. Creeps can stop short of criminality. But do you really want a creep as the face of your franchise? Certainly has happened to other clubs after the fact, but why sign up for it?

  7. Either Watson is delusional or he is getting bad advice from his lawyers. He should have settled the civil lawsuits a long time ago and moved on. This is going to end badly for him.

    There are just too many plaintiffs for him to overcome.

  8. From day 1 of these accusations Buzbee has acted EXACTLY like someone trying to boost his social media presence and get on TV, and I think it is certainly possible that he recruited, encouraged and coerced these young women to say what was necessary to make a big pile of money at the end.

  9. This lawyer needs to try his case in the court of public opinion since he is not winning in the court of law so far.

  10. Both things can be true, that Buzbee is a scumbag lawyer AND that Watson did these things. Buzbee is certainly a self-promoter that will do anything to get attention. But then again, so are many athletes.

    As far as scumbag lawyers go, Hardin isn’t far behind Buzbee, he just doesn’t have the used-car salesman-type sleazy vibe that Buzbee gives off.

  11. I have no doubt that Deshaun did something but 22 women came out the woodwork and most are looking for a check.

  12. I think I heard he flew in the masseuses from various parts of the country. Who needs 22 different ones unless they won’t come back because he did something?

  13. It’s the classic with a twist – who are you going to believe me or those 22 lying masseuses?

  14. Because 17 women accused Trump and he still got elected. I guess if Watson bragged about it on tape all would be forgiven.

  15. The civil trail(s) will be a circus unless Mr. Watson wises up and settle out of court. As for the NFL there has to be some punishment. He may be asked to stay in his room and not come out until he’s really, really “sorry.” As for the Browns, who’s bright idea was it to fish the “Dave Wanstead Book of Player Personnel Decisions” out of the garbage. I hope there were clauses in the contract to reset compensation and a morals clause to void the contract.

  16. I never met a group of lawyers who stood before the media like Watson’s lawyers have, and come out with so many reasons why all of these women are lying. First they said there was no truth to any of the accusations, and that this entire thing was a money grab. Then they said he had sex with some of the women, but that it was consensual, and that he never acted inappropriate during ANY massage session. Not sure why he thinks every massage ends with sex, but that’s his problem, and now they’re back to saying the women are money grabbers, and their client is a misunderstood massage addict. It’s over for both Watson, and the Browns, because after Watson is suspended they won’t be able to go back to Mayfield he’s done with them, and who can blame him

  17. what HBO fails to corollate is the fact that the same lawyer is representing ALL 22 women. It may not be “likely” but is absolutely plausible that this lawyer started with one money grabbing woman and asked her to inquire and find more women who was in any way associated with Watson and his massages. It is not unheard of for a lawyer to poke and prod and seek out victims (create them) vs them coming to seek out legal counsel. If they had different lawyers and all claimed a case against Watson without knowing there were other accusations out there, then absolutely. Not going to say the man is guilty just because 22 women are doing so…who happen to all be represented by the same (notorious ambulance chaser) lawyer.

  18. This lawyer needs to try his case in the court of public opinion since he is not winning in the court of law so far.——–Did you say the same thing about OJ?

  19. It’s an easy answer. Why do so many politicians lie and back each others lies? Why do NFL owners lie and back each others lies? Why are so many police brutality cases covered up until video proof is shown that those in the video magically forgot they did?

    If multiple people all have something to gain by telling the same story then multiple people have motivation to not tell the truth. Well over 100 people a year are exonerated from prison every year who went there because multiple people swore they saw something that didn’t happen which wrongly put them in jail. I mean the mafias entire existence is based on covering things up right?

    Quite frankly the number thing is a dumb argument. If he did something they need to actually prove it which none of the criminal acts he was accused of have been which is why they’re only recourse is civil court now. I’m not saying he did or didn’t do it because I don’t know. I’m just saying the accusers lawyer SUCKS at his job so that answer Watsons lawyer gave is 1000% correct. If that guy tried to tell me the sun was coming up tomorrow I’d be worried the world was ending. That’s how little credibility the ambulance chaser representing the women has. So thinking he gave 22 women bad advice for publicity and possible financial gain is not a hard theory to swallow.

  20. And to think, the Browns traded FOR this problem and distraction, regardless of what was guaranteed.

  21. Hypothetically let’s say this gets even worse and he never plays a down for the Browns… Is that money fully guaranteed as of right now when he signed? Or does he have to play at least one snap to guarantee everything?

  22. He’s innocent until proven guilty, regardless of the number of accusers. HBO’s question is improper and troubling.

    We need to let the courts decide instead of pre-judgement which seems to prevail.

    What is truly sad is the amount of downvotes to your commentary. We still live in Salem, MA and its the 1600’s. Good times indeed

  23. Don’t know whether he is guilty, but if 22 men claimed a woman defrauded them and the woman claimed it was all consensual gifts, who do you think would be believed?

  24. Weird that people is saying that this is a hit job… So why isn’t Watson suing anybody? Because he did it, and everybody knows it, and they don’t care how ridiculous they sound when they try to explain it away.

  25. I believe the 22 women. Not a single one of them called the police to report a crime. That’s 22 out of 22. This case has been laughed out of courts. It’s just become a media trial/circus. They tried to get Watson to agree to a secret settlement, but Watson wanted the entire world to know the truth. I believe all 22 women and I believe our court system. They’re all saying Watson didn’t commit any crimes. Please explain to the audience how a lawyer, who just so happens to be the neighbor of the Texans owner, contacted and recruited these 22 women who didn’t believe anything happened that justified a call to police, and convinced them that they could get easy money from the young millionaire, Watson. Anyone?

  26. There are many things that can be true here at the same time. Watson clearly pursued massage therapists for sex. Obviously that has been judged not worthy of criminal prosecution by two grand juries. In the civil trial, it’s not a binary thing. It’s about money. And that is where the number of accusers becomes irrelevant if not even detrimental to their case. How did they get hooked up with Buzbee? What are they alleging, exactly? Harassment? Rape?
    Everything that Tony has done points to his desire to get a settlement and not to go to a trial. It doesn’t mean any of the women are lying. But Watson’s refusal to settle does make me wonder of Buzbee really has anything.
    I have a feeling that at this point any settlement will be seen as an admission of guilt by the NFL. So Watson seems to be pushing for a straight up victory. It will be difficult for the NFL to take action if two grad juries declined to induct and he wins a civil trial. If he’s snn me art (and that highly debatable given his boorish-at-best conduct), he’ll have his lawyer attack counsel, not the accusers.

  27. Innocent until proven guilty was thrown out years ago by the media.

  28. People are getting lost in the whole civil case discussion which can only be decided in court and we will all just have to wait for that. Discussion about that seems fruitless. Right now, as a fan, I want to know the NFL’s stance on whether or not they believe he violated the personal conduct policy, if he can or will get suspended and the repercussions of that. I personally think the guy is a tool but the seminal questions is…did he violate this policy?

    “Everyone who is part of the league must refrain from conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the NFL.”

  29. I’m certainly not a lawyer, but I really need to understand why the 2nd woman reached out to Watson multiple times AFTER her incident “to protect her business”.

    The HBO special most likely helped Watson more than anything.

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