Tony Buzbee: Rusty Hardin “may have single-handedly lost his client’s case”
Rusty Hardin’s efforts to legitimize “happy endings” will carry over to each of the 23 ongoing lawsuits against Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Attorney Tony Buzbee, who is representing the plaintiffs, told ESPN.com’s John Barr that Hardin “may have lost his client’s file on his own because I will absolutely use that comment because I think it says a lot about how he, his team and his client feel about the massage industry.
Buzbee added, “If you’re in the massage industry, according to Rusty Hardin, that’s okay. And apparently that’s what his client expected. I promise you this is not what any of these women expected.”
Hardin said during a Houston radio appearance that “happy endings” are not illegal unless extra money is paid. Hardin also said it’s not a crime to do or say things that make someone else feel uncomfortable.
These comments arguably go to the heart of the claims against Watson. The plaintiffs will argue that Watson wanted the massages to turn sexual and tried to make it happen. They will say that his efforts crossed the line of civil liability.
And Buzbee is absolutely right on one key point. The comments Hardin made on the radio, as well as his efforts to clean things up with a statement released late Friday afternoon, convey an attitude that men should expect massages to sometimes turn sexual. This is obviously not what massages are supposed to be.
Because of this attitude, men (like Watson, arguably) line up massages and hope they’ll move on from massage to something else. Watson no doubt tried to make these things happen. Nonchalance with this admission will make Buzbee’s cases a little easier to prove.