Deshaun Watson attorney Rusty Hardin says Texans star has spoken to the FBI, lawyer ‘welcomes’ federal investigation

Attorney Rusty Hardin held a news conference on Aug. 18, 2021, about he and the Texans' star's dealings with the FBI in recent months.
Attorney Rusty Hardin held a news conference on Aug. 18, 2021, about he and the Texans' star's dealings with the FBI in recent months.

HOUSTON – Rusty Hardin, an attorney for Houston Texans Deshaun Watson, held a news conference Wednesday saying he and Watson have spoken to the FBI about one of the women who is making a claim against Watson.

“In April, the FBI came to us and told us that they were investigating a matter as to whether one of Mr. (Tony) Buzbee’s clients had committed extortion in the way that they were demanding money from Deshaun or what they would do if they wouldn’t pay him,” Hardin said in the news conference. “We’ve talked to him, we were not the ones who contacted them they contacted us.”

The news conference was held to address the case and recent news reports concerning the FBI and Watson, the 25-year-old quarterback facing 22 civil lawsuits by massage professionals represented by attorney Tony Buzbee who allege sexual misconduct and assault by the NFL star.

“We talked to (the FBI),” Hardin continued. “We even let them interview Deshaun -- and if y’all can find a lawyer that will let his client talk to the FBI if the lawyer had thought his client thought his client had done anything wrong or had any exposure, then I’ll be very very surprised. So we’ve kept that confidential. They of course would not be informing us of the investigation and where it stood. I’m not sure where it stands today. They have no obligation to be telling us that. And we haven’t asked them. If we had relevant information and they asked, we would share it with them and that was it. It never occurred to us – no matter how it might have been to our advantage to tell the public that the FBI was investigating one of Mr. Buzbee’s clients claims of the way it went about it. It never occurred to us to go public with that. That would interfere with the FBI’s investigation and it wouldn’t be appropriate.”

“... I welcome the investigation to look into all of it,” Hardin continued. “We will continue to cooperate with (the FBI) in any way that they want. We have from the first cooperated with the Houston Police Department, cooperated with the District Attorney’s Office and we’ll cooperate with the FBI and ultimately, down the line, we’ll cooperate with the NFL because we know Deshaun has done absolutely nothing wrong.

KPRC 2 is reaching out to Buzbee for comment. The FBI in Houston, per Department of Justice policy, said it does not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation.

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Watch the full news conference in the video player above.

Attorney Rusty Hardin discusses developments in cases filed against Texans Deshaun Watson

About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, social media news and local crime.