Rusty Hardin: Deshaun Watson gave spa owner $5,000 to help her business


A week that ended up being chock full of developments in the Deshaun Watson situation included news that a Houston spa owner has testified that Watson paid her $5,000 because he’s a “nice guy.” Attorney Rusty Hardin, who has become very vocal in recent days, has explained the payment in comments to Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today.

“She asked him to help out her business and he did, and that’s what the $5,000 was,” Hardin said. “It didn’t have anything to do with all the ulterior suggestions.”

Attorney Leah Graham echoed that sentiment to Schrotenboer.

“He was very inspired to help Black businesses,” Graham said. “That is one example of the numerous contributions he made to various Black businesses around Houston.”

At least three of the plaintiffs worked for or were associated with Dionne Louis, the recipient of the $5,000 payment. Nia Smith, who filed suit last week against Watson, specifically claims that Louis facilitated massages for Watson and knew Watson was attempting to have sex with his massage therapists. And as footnote 4 to Smith’s lawsuit points out, Louis invoked the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination when asked about text messages she exchanged with Watson.

Why would Louis invoke the Fifth Amendment in a civil case, if she simply received a donation from an NFL athlete who wanted to help her business? What is the potential crime in that?

25 responses to “Rusty Hardin: Deshaun Watson gave spa owner $5,000 to help her business

  1. That’s the best laugh I had for the whole weekend. Thanks Watson.

  2. If what Ms. Smith alleges is right I think the technical term for what Ms. Louis engaged in is pimp. Or maybe madam is she identifies as female…On another note are there no male masseuses in Houston or the other far ranging areas Watson searched that met his skill requirements for massages? Not even one?

  3. I’m having trouble believing anything that comes out of Rusty Hardin’s mouth anymore.

  4. Maybe Hardin cannot convince Watson to settle. So he’s starting to lose his filter on hopes of waking Watson up. Client control.

  5. At the very least, this entire episode should invite scrutiny from law enforcement at all levels to examine this woman’s business.
    If the average person can see what’s going on here, then someone who’s job it is should certainly be interested.

  6. Watson should offer a substantial settlement to drop the lawsuits and let the NFL decide the punishment. Suspend him for the season and move on already.

  7. The NFL should not suspend Watson during 2022.
    Wait until all the facts are in, drag it out, spend a great deal of time analyzing them.
    Then issue the appropriate punishment in 2023.

    If the NFL suspends him in 2022, even for the season, he loses about $1,000,000. Thats the same as a $4,000,000 player being suspended for 4 games. Its nothing to him.

    Wait until 2023.

  8. Maybe it wasnt claimed on her taxes ? Maybe it’s ‘Non-Ya’ business ? Maybe the money was stolen by Aliens ? At this point, neither the defendant, nor the ‘salon’ owner have been indicted, so all we have is ‘she said’, ‘he said’ and speculation.

  9. So we’re supposed to believe ‘good guy’ Deshaun Watson out of the goodness of his heart gifted $5000 to Ms. Louis, who just happened to be procuring extremely inexperienced MTs for him…

    While ‘good guy’ Watson was concurrently only paying the overwhelmingly minority self-employed MTs around $120 for happy ending massages? Inconsistent, not buying it. Again.

  10. Watson wrote a book in 2020 called Pass It On.

    The the book “illustrates how the seven qualities of a servant leader can lead to a more successful life” — which he lists as generosity, empathy, self-sacrifice, service, commitment, strength, and values in action.”

    DeShaun Watson, servant leader.

  11. The immensity of these facts, whether he is innocent or not, must weigh on a person. Deshaun Watson is a human being, after all. But it’s money that has allowed this all to transpire. Culturally, we heave all this pressure on professional athletes – and they have accepted the bargain. Because of money. Yet I can’t imagine Watson being able to publicly overcome the magnitude of these allegations if he doesn’t take the Browns to at least the AFC Championship game. Otherwise, Watson and the Cleveland franchise might collapse in on each other.

  12. How many of the woman victims did Watson engage in sex with? If they had sex for money they are BOTH guilty of misdemeanors. IF he asked them for sex and they said No what’s the crime? Soliciting? Class 4 misdemeanor? If he forced them to have sex then it’s rape. As far as I know he didn’t rape any of them. Yes, he’s creepy. So are 60% of the male population. The dudes a creep no doubt but this whole thing seems like a huge money grab. Plea guilty of soliciting, pay your fines, take a 8 game suspension and move on. I’m sik of hearing this crab. More serious issues then this. Signed Robert Kraft.

  13. “He was very inspired to help Black businesses,” Graham said. “That is one example of the numerous contributions he made to various Black businesses around Houston.”
    a true Humanitarian!………..240 Guaranteed!!!

  14. The NFL should put Watson on the exempt list for 2022 and let him earn his million while the cases play out. After that, a suspension can be determined for ‘23, ‘24 or perhaps life. My gut says if the NFL goes soft on him they will end up regretting it. The man is a predator.

  15. I can’t tell who is ethically worse – Watson or the Browns for signing him? Poor Cleveland fans…

  16. Five grand for giving him exactly what he was looking for…what an absolute joke.

  17. I wonder how many other businesses he gave such funding to, out of the goodness of his heart?

    If there are any, I would start looking into his going-on with them…

  18. Like everything, there is his story, their story and then the truth.
    No matter if he is guilty or not he will pay big and be suspended because the simple fact on how much attention this has garnered.
    My guess is a few of them he probably crossed the line, the majority of them it’s a money grab. Guilty of one or 24 it only takes 1 to bring him down.

  19. well safe to say watsons lawyer talking makes things worse not better for him, he should have just kept quite.

  20. $5,000 is nothing to Watson. But the spa owner’s testimony seems to have caught his lawyer off-guard. I don’t think Watson had told him about it. Hardin is trying to offer a plausible reason why he would be giving her money other than to secure her discretion about the services he was seeking. She didn’t indicate it was because her business needed money.

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