Sean Pendergast

24th Lawsuit Filed Against Deshaun Watson, Cites Rusty Hardin Comments on SportsRadio 610

Deshaun Watson is now facing a 24th accuser in civil court.
Deshaun Watson is now facing a 24th accuser in civil court. Photo by Eric Sauseda
On the heels of Rusty Hardin's interview on my morning show on SportsRadio 610 last Friday, in which Hardin made some comments about "happy endings" in massage settings, comments that went viral, Tony Buzbee, the attorney for the numerous plaintiffs suing Watson, paid off on two promises he made last Friday.

First, as he said he would last Friday, Buzbee filed a 24th lawsuit against the Cleveland Browns quarterback on Monday morning, first reported by Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com:
Second, Buzbee said he would use Hardin's comments in the aforementioned interview against Watson in court, and sure enough, they get mentioned at the beginning of the third page of the lawsuit:
"Deshaun Watson's attorney has called every woman suing Watson a liar. Watson's lawyer claims that "happy endings" are common in massage therapy and, short of paying extra for it, such conduct is not a crime. Watson's lawyer goes on to say that making a massage therapist "uncomfortable" due to the type of conduct described herein is not a crime. The public comments made by Watson's defense team evidence a belief system that explains Watson's conduct: when Watson contacts a random massage therapist on Instagram for a massage, unbeknownst to the therapist, Watson is wanting more than a massage — his "thing" is using his celebrity to make a massage session into something more. The woman do not learn about Watson's proclivities until it is too late. What Plaintiff alleges herein is disgusting and abhorrent conduct, a habit and custom of conduct, that is actionable under the laws of the State of Texas. Despite Watson's legal team's efforts to normalize such conduct, such conduct is not normal, and is legally actionable." 
Here are the comments from Hardin in the last Friday's interview :
Here is the lawsuit in its entirety:
For their part, Rusty Hardin's team was unaware of this woman, having not heard her name until the lawsuit was filed today. Their statement:
As ;lawsuits against Watson go, and there are now two dozen of them to choose from, this one alleges some particularly lewd, graphic, and dysfunctional behavior. In this lawsuit, the plaintiff, Katy Williams, alleges that Watson at one point began masturbating in front of the plaintiff, and when she refused Watson's advances, Watson stood up, continued masturbating. When Watson ejaculated, the bodily fluid landed on the plaintiff's chest and face.

So now we are at 24 lawsuits against Watson. In the interview I conducted with Hardin, it was very clear to me that the biggest obstacle to successfully defending Watson was the sheer volume of accusers. It's tough to sway the public into thinking 24 women are ALL lying. Right now, the number is increasing, and who knows if more women are equally moved by Watson's lack of contrition as Nia Smith (plaintiff number 23) and Williams were.

The NFL was at a point where they were finishing up their investigation, but with every new lawsuit, there are new details to dissect. This is what the Cleveland Browns have signed up for.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.
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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast