Buzbee says he’ll take evidence ‘elsewhere’ than HPD; Deshaun Watson’s attorney responds

HOUSTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 03: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans participates in warmups prior to a game against the Tennessee Titans at NRG Stadium on January 03, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Deshaun Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin released a response after Tony Buzbee stated that he would "go elsewhere" than the Houston Police Department to provide evidence in the allegations against the Houston Texans quarterback.

Houston attorney Buzbee is representing 21 women who filed civil lawsuits against Watson accusing him of assault and harassment during massage sessions.

RELATED: Read the 21 lawsuits filed against Deshaun Watson

All of the women are identified as Jane Does in their respective lawsuits.

On Tuesday, Buzbee wrote in an Instagram post that his team "has been roundly criticized because these numerous brave women haven’t filed formal criminal complaints with HPD."

Buzbee says they have provided information to other organizations.

Buzbee wrote, "Here is my worry: When I ran for Houston mayor against the CURRENT mayor, I called for the resignation of the former police chief. I was thus reluctant initially in these important cases to provide info to HPD, at least while Art Acevedo was the Police Chief—even though my brother in law is a long-term HPD officer. Mr. Acevedo has now left Houston for Miami. Yet, I’ve since learned that my legal opponent, Mr. Hardin, has a son who is on of the exclusive Command Staff of HPD. I am not saying in any way that Deshaun Watson’s lawyer, Mr. Hardin, has a son who has a position that would compromise HPD and its investigation. I support his service, along with all Houston police officers—I think the rank and file know that. But, I am saying that me and my clients will go elsewhere to provide our evidence to investigative authorities."

On Thursday, Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin released a statement in response:

"Since March 19, Mr. Tony Buzbee has repeatedly promised to submit evidence to the Houston Police Department in support of his anonymous clients’ complaints against Deshaun Watson. So far, he has not done so. Now, in response to media inquiries, Mr. Buzbee has abandoned his promise altogether and, in his words, will go "elsewhere to provide his evidence to investigative authorities." 

His latest excuse for failing to go to law enforcement is also his lamest. Anyone who has dealt with HPD, as I have for many years, would know that Mr. Buzbee’s suggestion that the Department would overlook legitimate complaints based upon a family connection of one of its officers is ludicrous. It is also insulting to the dedicated professionals at HPD and to common sense. Mr. Buzbee’s claimed fear of HPD’s partiality is inconsistent with his prior praise for the Department’s response to the burglary of his home during his recent mayoral campaign. See Exhibit 1 below.

Rusty Hardin included this screenshot "Exhibit 1" in his statement.

I would respectfully suggest that Mr. Buzbee’s failure to go to law enforcement does not result from some baseless fear that HPD will not fairly investigate. Instead, it is from the knowledge that his parade of anonymous allegations could not survive the rigorous inquiry of trained investigators or the need to attest to the truth of the allegations under oath.  

For our part, we will continue to learn about the cases in any way that we can. We and Deshaun will always remain available to any law enforcement or regulatory agency who desires our cooperation.  

Apparently, Mr. Buzbee is unwilling to do the same."

On Wednesday, Hardin released statements from 18 massage therapists who said the accusations against Watson are inconsistent with their experiences with him.

RELATED: 18 massage therapists issue statements in support of Deshaun Watson