Tom Brady says his spa cameo in a Netflix comedy isn’t a shot at owner Robert Kraft

Charles Robinson
NFL columnist
Tom Brady insists his spa cameo in a new Netflix series isn't the shot at Patriots owner Robert Kraft people think it is. (Getty)

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady says his cameo visit to the “Top Happy Spa” in Paul Rudd’s new Netflix comedy series isn’t what it’s being made out to be.

Rather than poking fun at owner Robert Kraft’s infamous charges for allegedly soliciting the services of a prostitute, Brady says the cameo was only meant to be taken as part of the storyline in ”Living With Yourself,” which includes a strip mall massage parlor that is a cover for cloning customers to create upgraded versions of themselves.

Brady said any other inference is a media creation — even if it involves the optics of Brady exiting the “Happy Time Spa” in a comedy bit, less than a year after Kraft was swept up in a prostitution sting that involved the Orchids of Asia spa.

“[A reference to Kraft is] not what that was about,” Brady said in a clearly agitated interview with reporters Saturday. “I think that was taken out of context, just like you’re taking it out of context and trying to make it a story for yourself, which has a negative connotation to it, which I don’t appreciate. It was meant to be something different than that. The fact that it’s a distraction or you’re bringing it up is not something I want to be talking about.”

Brady appears on screen for 20 seconds, after Rudd encounters him coming out of a seedy strip mall day spa dubbed the “Top Happy Spa.” For knowledgeable NFL fans, it echoed Kraft’s embarrassing legal case for alleged solicitation of prostitution — when police surveilled him at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida. Both of the spas were in strip malls and had flowers as logos on the signage.

But Brady said seeing the similarities was a media creation, going on to chastise the notion the portrayal had anything to do with Kraft’s legal troubles and saying an inaccurate context was being created.

“I think it’s this type of media atmosphere that you create — the blame-and-shame media atmosphere that’s kind of percolated for a while,” Brady said. “I think there are a lot of things that are said that are taken out of context, that you choose to make a headline of, as opposed to understanding what it’s actually about.”

But after saying the context of the scene wasn’t fair, Brady alleged that the scene was shot on a green screen — which appeared to be confirmed by social media on Saturday. That also means Brady might not have known he’d be walking out of something called the “Happy Time Spa”, and at least suggests that Brady may not have been on board with the final version of the show.

“It was shot on a green screen,” Brady said. “It was agreed to a year ago. It was written four years ago. Again, it’s unfortunate that people would choose to think I would ever do something like that about Mr. Kraft. I think that’s a very bad assessment of my relationship with him. I would never do that.”

Interestingly, this all seems to run somewhat contrary to how show director and creator Timothy Greenberg described the scene coming together. In an interview with online entertainment media hub Refinery29, Greenberg said he was surprised Brady even agreed to go with the scene after Kraft’s spa incident happened.

From Refinery29:

During this waiting period [to shoot the scene], news also broke that had [Greenberg] convinced they were going to lose Brady. In [2019], Patriots owner Robert Kraft was charged with soliciting a sex worker at a day spa in a strip mall “that looked almost exactly like what we were shooting. Like, I would have used it as a reference photo,” Greenberg admits. “So we’re like, ‘Alright, this is clearly not going to happen now.”

In the end, it did. After the Patriots won [Super Bowl LII], Greenberg, Rudd, and the crew headed up to Boston to shoot the cameo in a parking lot.

“Paul and I were talking football with him for a good hour,” Greenberg says. “It was really super cool and again, I’m a Jets fan so I had mixed feelings, but he’s also the greatest quarterback of all time.”

Greenberg still doesn’t know why the GOAT agreed to do his show and he’s fine with never knowing.

“I’m writing something else now that’s about somebody getting trapped in a world where suddenly things are going too well and this was like that,” Greenberg says about getting Brady. “Like, really, something is wrong here. This can’t be real.”

At the very least, Greenberg sure seemed cognizant of something Brady allegedly wasn’t: that the Kraft incident would cast the scene in an eyebrow-raising light.

In the scene, Rudd pulls to the front of the spa — which is cast as a front for cloning human customers. Rudd is having some consternation about entering. But just before he’s about to bail on the idea, he’s stunned to see Brady step out of the spa. Brady steps out of the door and takes what appears to be a deep and refreshed breath, leaving Rudd stunned.

Brady looks at Rudd and asks, “First time?”

“Uh-huh,” Rudd says. “You?”

“Sixth,” Brady replies.

He then steps into a black SUV and departs.

Ultimately, it’s going to be left up to viewers to decide if they see some similarities, or whether Brady should have known what was coming after shooting the scene following Kraft’s troubles. But he’s clearly mad that parallels are being seen — while suggesting that he didn’t know they’d even be possible in the first place.

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