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.