Attorney: Deshaun Watson Had Massages that Ended with Consensual Sex

Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans in action against the Cincinnati Bengals at NRG Stadium on December 27, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Rusty Hardin, the lawyer for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, says that his client had massages that ended with consensual sex.

“Hardin insists, however, that he did not coerce the massage therapists or use his status as a celebrity to violate the ability of the massage therapists to provide consent,” Pro Football Talk reports.

Hardin made the comments during a press conference with reporters on Friday.

“We deeply, deeply do not believe this guy ever did anything nonconsensual with any woman during any of this,” Hardin said. “He didn’t coerce them. We don’t believe he used his position. We don’t believe he intimidated them. We simply do not. Were there sometimes consensual encounters? Yes.”

Watson is currently facing 22 allegations of sexual assault or misconduct from women who are either licensed massage therapists, professional trainers, or aestheticians. The incidents are alleged to have occurred between early 2020 and early 2021.

As to why Watson needed so many massage therapists, Hardin said that was a reflection of shutdowns during the pandemic and because “millennials live on Instagram.”

A judge recently ruled that Watson’s accusers will have to make their names public. Nine of the star quarterback’s accusers have already volunteered to disclose their names publicly.

Nike recently suspended its sponsorship deal with Watson after his first accuser, Ashley Solis, delivered a powerful public statement this week.

Watson, who had been seeking a trade before the slew of allegations against him became public, could be placed on the NFL Commissioner’s exempt list. A temporary status that would keep Watson off the Active List pending the results of an investigation.

The NFL has not yet said what action they will take.

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