Deshaun Watson’s Attorney Calls Press Conference
Deshaun Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin has called a press conference to be held tomorrow morning to address the allegations by Houston based attorney Tony Buzbee who told League of Justice today that the FBI is investigating the circumstances surrounding Watson and his accusers.
Hardin, who was upset about Buzbee mentioning a possible FBI Investigation, when contacted by League of Justice’s Amy Dash, said, “I have absolutely no reason to believe that Deshaun is being investigated by the FBI. I have absolutely no reason to believe that Mr. Buzbee’s spin is the truth or that it’s anymore accurate than any of the other misstatements he has sponsored. I simply do not believe the FBI is investigating Deshaun.” Hardin acknowledged that the FBI would likely not tell him if they were in fact investigating Watson as per their protocol.
Hardin was concerned about the effects of a story like this coming at a time when there are trade talks about Watson and chalked it up to an attempt by Buzbee to harm Watson’s reputation. “Mr. Buzbee’s comments are just part of a long, continuing pattern of just trying to harm Deshaun in the public perception. It is despicable conduct and I hope one day people will hold him accountable when the whole truth comes out.”
Hardin will be speaking at his offices on Wednesday at 10am Central and says he “will address Mr. Buzbee’s latest antics regarding the FBI in his continued attempts to ruin Deshaun Watson in order to force a settlement of his civil cases and promote himself.”
Hardin has generally shied away from the press and has only held one other press conference to date.
Here at League of Justice we aim to transform traditional media coverage of legal stories. In furtherance of that mission, it’s important to cover both sides. While Mr. Buzbee discussed his alleged experiences meeting with FBI agents, it’s important to remember that we do not have all of the details nor do we know if there is even an investigation at all. Perhaps the investigation is focused on Watson but perhaps it is focused on something or someone else, if there is even an investigation, which there may not be.
Hardin, for his part, is not a fan of what he calls Buzbee’s attempts to play this case out in the media. After a long conversation with Hardin, it became clear that the Houston attorney refuses to litigate this case publicly due to his own ethical standards. His forum for proving Deshaun Watson’s innocence will be in a courtroom, he said. He is also bound by ethical principles as Watson’s advocate to not take steps that could compromise the integrity of his case, and is therefore restrained from coming forward with information that could shed light on Watson’s innocence, until that evidence can be presented before a jury. Truth be told, the extensive media coverage of Buzbee’s plaintiffs’ claims has naturally leaned in favor of Watson’s accusers due to the very nature of Watson being at least a year and a half away from having his day in court. The ripple effect of that is that Watson is being doubly tried in the media and later in a court of law, but the trial by media comes first and a jury pool is picked afterwards. Often, finding jurors who have not been influenced by media coverage can be tricky. While there is no easy answer to this challenge, Hardin will likely discuss the unfairness of the process to Watson. For anyone who is accused of something that they proclaim they did not do, the process can be a distressing one. While Buzbee has a right to advocate for his clients, Hardin’s hands are unfairly tied when it comes to being able to respond properly to balance the coverage and defend his client fully. He will spend tomorrow working to bring the needle back to the middle and hopes to convince the public not to rush to judgment before hearing all of the evidence.
Watson has not been charged with any crime and is currently denying allegations made by almost two dozen women accusing him of various forms of sexual assault and harassment in civil lawsuits. He should enjoy a presumption of innocence unless there is a legal determination otherwise.
Because Watson is a high profile public figure who plays for the NFL, there is large public interest in this case and how the League will ultimately handle it. The intersection of sports and law has reached an unprecedented level over the years and justice and sports have become intertwined in many ways. Therefore, having confirmed from multiple sources, the involvement of the FBI in some way here, it is important to report it. However, the claims of both attorneys in the case should carry even weight absent direct evidence proving one side over the other.
The FBI will neither confirm nor deny whether there is an investigation concerning Watson.
Check out League of Justice’s Exclusive interview with Buzbee below.