Rusty Hardin might be a successful and high-profile attorney, but he’s struggling to win in the court of public opinion when it comes to his client Deshaun Watson.
Hardin and his associate Leah Graham joined hosts Seth Payne and Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 in Houston Friday morning. Not surprisingly, Hardin and Graham defended their client, who has been accused of sexual assault by 23 different women, alleging misconduct during massage therapy sessions. But during the interview, Hardin offered a surprising closing statement, claiming “happy endings” are not always illegal.
Deshaun Watson's attorney Rusty Hardin ended his interview with @SethCPayne & @SeanTPendergast this morning reminding the audience that "happy endings" to massages are not necessarily illegal. https://t.co/dkWBghW7Eg pic.twitter.com/V0nOq1PeAi
— SportsRadio 610 (@SportsRadio610) June 3, 2022
“I don’t know how many men are out there now that have had a massage that perhaps occasionally there was a happy ending,” Hardin told Payne and Pendergast. “Maybe there’s nobody in your listening audience that that ever happened to. I do want to point out, if it has happened, it’s not a crime. Unless you are paying somebody extra or so to give you some type of sexual activity, it’s not a crime.”
“Doing something or saying something or being a way that makes you uncomfortable is not a crime,” Hardin added. “And so we had two grand juries find that and nobody seems to want to listen.”
Watson, who was traded from the Houston Texans to the Cleveland Browns earlier this year, has maintained his innocence and denied any sexual misconduct. But his own lawyer speaking in defense of “happy endings” could give the appearance that the quarterback was indeed engaging in more than massages.
The open cases against Watson are civil, not criminal. So whether or not Watson made the therapists feel uncomfortable or manipulated them to do something they didn’t want to do, are all factors relevant to the open cases. Watson also still faces discipline under the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.