Attorney Rusty Hardin, who represents Deshaun Watson, on Wednesday released a statement in which 18 separate massage therapists detail their experiences with the Houston quarterback and say that the behavior alleged against him in other lawsuits is out of character, with all sharing positive experiences.
The Texans quarterback is facing nearly two dozen civil lawsuits alleging inappropriate behavior and sexual assault during massages administered to Watson since 2020.
The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin revealed a portion of Hardin’s statement on Twitter on Tuesday:
Deshaun Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin has now issued a press release with what he says are 18 massage therapists who support Watson. Here is a sample: pic.twitter.com/MAKPKEsVJm
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) March 31, 2021
“These women say they are deeply troubled by the accusations made against Deshaun Watson and that these claims are wholly inconsistent with their experiences with him and who they believe him to be,” the statement reads.
“All of them stated that Deshaun never made them feel uncomfortable or demanded anything outside the scope of a professional massage. None of them experienced any of the behavior alleged by anonymous plaintiffs in the numerous lawsuits filed by the same Houston attorney.”
Statement from Houston attorney Rusty Hardin who represents @deshaunwatson which included statements from 18 veteran massage therapists who have worked with Watson and are voluntarily offering their support for him with their names attached. The following are four more examples: pic.twitter.com/thWiiZiFEI
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) March 31, 2021
Earlier in the week, Sports Illustrated’s Jenny Vrentas profiled “Mary,” a separate massage therapist who is not a part of Houston attorney Tony Buzbee’s client group but who claimed similar instances of inapproriate and sexual conduct during a massage with Watson.
Criminal cases against Watson have not been filed. Houston police also have not received any evidence of sexual assault involving Watson.
In all, there are 24 accusers.
In March, the NFL confirmed it is investigating Watson.