The Cleveland Browns may be drowning in bad press after his HBO interview.
You know when people say “it can’t get worse from here?” They’re lying. It’ absolutely can. HBO Real Sports will be airing a sit-down interview with two of the women who have accused Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct and their lawyer. Watson is currently being sued by 22 women in civil court, an additional two women only filed criminal charges against Watson, while a 25th told her story but declined to file charges civilly or criminally against Watson.
Now, two of those women who filed civil suits against Watson will have a chance to tell their side of things, along with their lawyer, Tony Buzbee. Buzbee said the questions from the HBO interview were difficult but fair and applauded HBO for their balance in reporting the story.
Watson’s lawyer, Rusy Hardin, told Cleveland.com that he doesn’t expect the interview to be fair, claiming he doesn’t believe HBO will destroy the women’s credibility.
"I don’t know what it’s going to be like, but I’m not optimistic. I believe they’ll air the accusations of the women without attempting to look behind it to see what kind of merit do they have.’"
He should be more worried about his client putting his foot in his mouth. Watson has already gone on record saying that he “never disrespected any woman” and that he respects “everyone and everything” around him.
"But like I mentioned before, I’ve never assaulted any woman. I never disrespected any woman. I was raised by a single-parent mom who has two Aunties, who’s a sister, and that’s who raised me.I was raised to be genuine and to respect everyone and everything around me. So I’ve always defended that and I will continue to stand on that. And I just want the opportunity to be able to show who I really am community, and be hands on and help people and serve other people.’"
But then also admitted to making a massage therapist cry due to their “consensual” encounter via a text exchange with the woman;
"Sorry about you feeling uncomfortable Never were the intentions. Lmk if you want to work in the future. My apologies."
Watson would go on to testify about the exchange saying;
"So, I assumed that she was uncomfortable in whatever reason. And we talked about working in the future. And so, I said, `We can work in the future. Just let me know.’ And then I sent my apologies as whatever reason she was teary-eyed for."
According to the woman, she was upset because Watson exposed himself to her and forced his genitals on her. Watson didn’t specify why he thought the woman was crying.
The HBO interview may reveal even more damning accusations that fans have ignored previously.
The HBO interview will highlight how poorly the Cleveland Browns handled all this
Think about how one claim and one text recontextualized everything. Now, more than before, the pressure is on the NFL to act. Talks of giving Watson and Trevor Bauer-level suspension are really picking up. Why? Because despite this already being revealed before, most people didn’t hear it. Most people thought it was a lie.
Now Watson is confirming parts of the story, and leaving the rest to his forgetful memory. He’s admitting only to what is known and can be proven. Sly, but people are starting to rethink the situation.
The more these stories get air, the more attention this case gets, and the more accusations that come out, the more likely it is that Watson gets in serious trouble. There will be too many stories, too many odd claims that he’ll have to explain away. Every partial confirmation by Watson will only make the Cleveland Browns look even worse in hindsight for not doing more research.
The Browns have already been accused of not doing enough, mainly by not reaching out to the alleged victims. Sure, it was a move that some claim they couldn’t do due to the legality of the situation but others argue that it’s in the Browns’ best interest to interview these women to better understand the situation.
If even more terrible stories come to light about Watson’s alleged behavior, how will the Browns defend themselves? They could’ve talked to these women with the permission of their lawyer, and made a more informed decision to not pursue Watson. Instead, they balked at the notion and when the pressure got too great, the Haslams threw Andrew Berry and their own daughters under the bus when they talked about who were the driving forces behind the decision.
Jimmy Haslam said the trade was all Andrew Berry’s doing, and both Jimmy and Dee Haslam said their entire family, daughters include, had a say in whether or not Watson came to Cleveland.
The Haslams have already shown to be bad at handling the fallout of this whole situation and it really makes you wonder what else will come out that will have to be explained away or defended by the organization.
What’s for certain is that Tuesday night is being set up as a monster night that every Browns fan is going to want to keep an eye on.