HBO posed simple question to one of Deshaun Watson’s lawyers: Why believe one man over 22 women?
The strongest evidence against Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson arguably comes from the fact that so many different women who provided massages to him claim that he went too far, engaging ultimately in sexual misconduct. In all, 22 have sued him.
Although Watson declined to be interviewed for Tuesday night’s episode of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, one of Watson’s lawyers answered questions on the record. HBO has released some excerpts from the feature. Included was this key exchange between the reporter, Soledad O’Brien, and attorney Leah Graham:
Q: For Deshaun Watson to be innocent, 22 women would have to be lying. Why would the public believe one man versus 22 different women?
A: It’s 22 women. It’s one lawyer. There’s only one lawyer who was willing to take these cases. And as we know from Ashley Solis’ deposition, Mr. Buzbee was not the first, probably not the second or third lawyer she went to, but he was the only one to take her case. Why? Not because it had merit, but because he would use these cases to increase his social media following and quite frankly to get on shows like this one.
That’s a strong accusation. Basically, Graham claims that Tony Buzbee became the ringleader for a mob of 22 people who have meritless claims, pushing them forward with the sole purpose of adding to his social-media platform and “to get on shows like this one.”
Think about what Graham is really saying. She’s contend that 22 different women are wrong or lying or exaggerating or misinformed, and that their lawyer got all of them to proceed in order to boost his social-media presence and to get on TV.
If that’s the case, there would be and/or should be something from the depositions of the 22 women to show that they were recruited or manipulated or used. Common sense suggests that, of the 22, one or more of them would have complained at some point in the past 14 months to a friend or a family member in manner that could be used to show that the individual plaintiffs were indeed being manipulated in some way by Buzbee.
We’re not saying it didn’t happen this way. We’re just saying it won’t be easy to convince 22 juries, the NFL, and/or the court of public opinion that it did.
With two or three or four or five, it would be easier. With 22, it will be very difficult.