Friday didn’t have a satisfying conclusion for attorney Rusty Hardin.
After his comment during a radio interview regarding ‘happy endings’ during non-illegal massage sessions went viral the wrong way, attorney representing Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson tried to fix things with a statement released in the late afternoon.
“Deshaun Watson did nothing wrong,” Hardin said. “And as two grand juries have made clear, Deshaun did nothing illegal. Deshaun always acknowledged consensual sexual activity with three of the complaining massage therapists after the massages. And Deshaun has repeatedly sworn under oath that he did not force any of his accusers to have sexual contact.
“In a Houston radio interview today, I mentioned that a massage that has a ‘happy ending’ isn’t illegal, which means it’s not illegal for someone ‘having consensual sex with a therapist after a massage, unless the sex is paid for. Deshaun has not paid anyone for sex. I was using the term hypothetically and not describing Deshaun’s case.
“I repeated to the others that it is not acceptable to do anything that a woman does not agree to do. These women alleged assault in their closing arguments. I was speaking in a hypothetical situation If there is consensual sex after a massage it’s not a crime or basis for a civil suit I wasn’t talking about what Deshaun did or didn’t do or expected or didn’t didn’t expect.
Hardin’s comment nonetheless bolsters the argument that Watson wanted or expected “happy endings” and that Watson was actively seeking them. By attempting to make a massage sexual, Watson potentially offended and/or unwelcomely or undesirably touched one or more of the massage therapists with one or more parts of his body.
That’s what the 23 plaintiffs allege, that Watson went too far in trying to make massage a sexual encounter. The mood expressed bluntly by Hardin’s original comment and residing more subtly in his efforts to clean up the mess his remarks made could ultimately bolster the 23 cases pending against Watson. While Watson and Hardin see nothing wrong with a massage becoming sexual, and they see nothing wrong with striving to make a massage sexual, they do not understand the basis of the complaints against Watson – that he would have crossed the line trying to get the massages to cross the line.