Lawyer for Browns’ Deshaun Watson says ‘happy endings’ not a crime, remarks clarify
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Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has faced more than 20 lawsuits for sexual misconduct during massage appointments since March 2021.
On Tuesday, a 23rd lawsuit was filed against the Browns quarterback, and attorney Tony Buzbee will soon file a 24th.
While two grand juries declined to indict Watson on criminal charges in March, civil cases remain active.
Watson and his attorney, Rusty Hardin, have maintained Watson’s innocence, saying the quarterback engaged in consensual sexual activity with three massage therapists.
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On Friday, Hardin joined SportsRadio 610 in Houston and made some controversial comments.
“I don’t know how many men there are now who have had a massage that maybe sometimes had a happy ending,” Hardin said. said on the radio. “Maybe there’s no one in your audience that this has happened to. I want to emphasize that if this has happened, it’s not a crime. Unless you pay someone moreover to give you some kind of sexual activity, it is not a crime.
“Doing something or saying something or being in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable is not a crime,” Hardin added. “We had two grand juries that found this, and no one seems to want to listen.”
After the blowback, Hardin clarified his comments, releasing a statement saying he was speaking “hypothetically” and not discussing Watson’s case.
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“In a Houston radio interview today, I mentioned that a massage that has a ‘happy ending’ isn’t illegal, which means it’s not illegal for someone ‘having consensual sex with a therapist after a massage unless the sex is paid’, Hardin written in a statement. “Deshaun didn’t pay anyone to have sex. I was using the term hypothetically and not describing Deshaun’s case.
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“I repeated to the others that it is not acceptable to do anything that a woman does not agree to. These women alleged assault in their closing arguments. I was speaking in a hypothetical situation.”
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Buzbee, the attorney representing the women suing Watson, told USA Today Sports that the women disagreed to “give Deshaun Watson a happy ending.”
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“For Mr. Hardin to suggest that Watson was okay to expect this kind of conduct is disgusting,” Buzbee said. “I think Mr. Hardin himself, in his moment of clarity, may have ended Watson’s career.”
Watson was traded from Houston Texans to Browns in March, and Cleveland signed Watson to a record-breaking five-year, $230 million contract, all guaranteed.