Rusty Hardin has been representing Cleveland Browns quarterback, Deshaun Watson since the quarterback has been accused of sexual misconduct.
Over the weekend, Hardin may have muddied the waters for his client’s defense even more.
On a Houston radio show Friday, Rusty Hardin was quoted saying “I don’t know how many men are out there now that have had a massage that perhaps occasionally there was a happy ending, alright?” Hardin said. “Maybe there’s nobody in your listening audience that that never happened to. I do want to point out, if it has happened, it’s not a crime, OK? Unless you are paying somebody extra or so to give you some type of sexual activity, it’s not a crime.”
Rusty Hardin went on to remind those in the interview that Watson was not charged by grand juries in Texas over the allegations.
It was also revealed that Rusty Hardin, and Watson offered each plaintiff $100,000 in settlements but that was rejected due to “severe NDA’s the clients were asked to sign.”
The latest comment has drawn backlash from around the country.
The 23rd woman reportedly decided to come forward after the HBO Sports documentary that saw two of the women involved in the civil suit come forward publicly.
While not an admission of guilt, Hardin spoke this morning saying his comments this past weekend were “hypothetical.“
It does however, continue to hurt Watson’s chances in the court of public opinion. Rusty Hardin’s attempt to legitimize “happy endings” will call into question what was or wasn’t consensual when Watson allegedly committed the sexual misconduct.
Hardin’s comments will also continue to cause concern on the NFL side as well. While no decision has been made on punishment, the addition of a 23rd name to come forward, and Hardin’s comments will ultimately make the NFL’s investigation into the Watson scandal longer.
Watson has not been placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, but also has not played in a game since 2020.
Teammates of Watson has come out in defense of Watson’s character lately. In speaking to the Associated Press, All-Pro defensive end, Myles Garrett said “I just have to move with the character of the man that I know from day to day, and it’s a good guy from what I’ve seen, from what I’ve played against and from what I’ve seen in the building.”
Watson recently signed the largest contract in NFL history after being traded to Cleveland this offseason.
UPDATE – *WARNING: Sensitive material that could be deemed inappropriate*
Following Hardin’s comments a 24th woman has come forward to join the latest civil suit against Watson.
According to reports, the woman alleges “alleges Watson started to masturbate during the massage. The lawsuit alleges the plaintiff “stopped the massage,” but Watson “stood up and continued masturbating aggressively” before ejaculating. The lawsuit says some of Watson’s “ejaculate got on Plaintiff’s chest and face.”
The NFL has not commented on Rusty Hardin’s comments, or the 24th accuser that has come forward.
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