Lawyer Rusty Hardin, who represents Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, has said many things in recent days. His comments include a not-so-subtle chiding of the media for failing to pick apart the claims of the 23 (soon to be 24) women who have sued Watson for sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions.
As noted Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today over the weekend, Hardin has accused the media of not investigating the credibility of the women who have sued Watson due to concerns of being accused of “victim blaming” or getting called “anti-woman.”
Hardin seems to expect reporters to engage in a specific, granular, and rigorous examination of claims asserted and statements made by the many plaintiffs. The reality is that Hardin and his team presumably have been doing just that.
“It is important to note that without exception every woman, in some way or the other, her deposition has been inconsistent with the lawsuit they filed that created all the publicity,” Hardin told Schrotenboer.
It that’s the case, show us. Make the case. Conduct a press conference that juxtaposes allegations from the complaint with specific snippets of testimony that clearly contradict the relevant portions of the official paperwork.
If there are silver bullets, Hardin has direct access to them. He shouldn’t expect the media to go find them. He should show just them to us.
It’s simple. Allegation, followed by testimony that contradicts it. One after another after another. Just like he’ll eventually do to the juries that resolve these various civil cases.
Possibly, that’s what they’ll be doing.
“Where we’re going from now on, we’re going to try to answer yours and other people’s questions in the words of the women,” Hardin told Schrotenboer.
However Hardin chooses to do it, if he wants to get reporters to point out the existence of clear and obvious flaws in one or more of the cases pending against Watson, Hardin has to show them to us. He has to convince us of them.
First and foremost, those clear and obvious flaws need to clearly and obviously exist. If they do, Hardin should be talking about that, instead of undermining his client’s case by flippantly arguing that it’s not a crime to experience or to attempt to finagle a “happy ending” at the conclusion of a massage.