Alabama Country Music Star Walker Hayes Mentioned In Scandalous Abusé and Harassmént Accusations Against Kirt Webster

Native Alabama son mentioned as potential Webster abusé victim

Alabama Country Music Star Walker Hayes Mentioned In Scandalous Abusé and Harassmént Accusations Against Kirt Webster

{TheChronicle exclusive} – Prominent Nashville publicist Kirt Webster, known for representing legends like Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, and Kid Rock, abruptly stepped down in 2017 amid explosive accusations of sexuál assaúlt and harassmént. Former employees and associates revealed a shocking pattern of abusîve behavior that has terrorized many within the industry for years. Now it's being alleged that more musicians may have been victimized by Webster than previously reported. Amongst the names now being alleged is Alabama's own Walker Hayes.

Days after aspiring country singer Austin C. Rick accused Webster of druggíng and sexuàlly assaultíng him in 2017, 10 former employees came forward, describing a toxic workplace rife with intimidation, harassmént, and abusé. The ex-employees, fearing professional retribution, first spoke anonymously to the USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee, painting a grim picture of Webster's reign of terror.

Nashville police investigated Rick’s allegations, according to spokeswoman Kris Mumford. "Our séx crímes detectives reached out to the alleged victim to see if he’d like to talk about what happened," Mumford stated. Recently, a settlement was said to be negotiated with Rick for an undisclosed amount, but additional information has yet to be provided.

Shocking Allegations and Evidence of Abusé

Webster is accused of trading explicít photographs for meet-and-greet passes with Parton, engaging in unwanted touching, and using vulgar nicknames during company meetings. "There was so much verbal and emotional abusé," one female former employee recounted. "I witnessed some of the worst behavior you can imagine."

In response, Webster claimed his interactions with Rick were consensual. He announced his temporary departure from the firm to fight the "egregious and untrue allegations." However, a spokeswoman for Webster did not address the mounting accusations of workplace harassmént.

Former employees describe Webster's behavior as relentless and unsolicited. They detail a culture of fear and intimidation, stifling any attempt to speak out. One former employee even claimed Webster threatened to mutílate her genitalía. Others reported that he solicited explicit photos from fans in exchange for access to stars and bragged about it in the office.

Webster's cruelty extended to mocking disabled clients, including singer Randy Travis, who suffered a debilitating stroke in 2013. "He would do impressions of Randy," said a former employee.

Walker Hayes and Possible Industry Cover-Up

Amid settlement talks, new emerging details suggest that Webster’s victims may include other industry figures, such as rising Alabama native Walker Hayes. Experts speculate that Hayes and others may choose to remain silent to protect their careers.

Born Charles Edgar Walker Hayes on December 27, 1979, Walker Hayes is a Mobile, Alabama native who has released three studio albums (Reason to Rhyme in 2011 on Capitol Records Nashville, and Boom and Country Stuff the Album in 2017 and 2022 on Monument Records) and has charted multiple singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts. "If you're a Walker Hayes or a whoever and you have a career, you're not going to want to get anywhere near this," therapist and lifecoach Valerie Nails said of the "Fancy Like" singer. "Besides that, men with strong public personas don't want to appear as weak."

Allegations of Workplace Hostility and Control

Webster allegedly created a hostile work environment, with constant staff turnover due to his abusivé behavior. "He’s screaming at you one second and then acting like nothing’s wrong the next," one ex-employee said, adding that Webster once vomited from screaming so hard.

Witnesses claim Webster simulated sexuál acts in the office, including pantomiming masturbatíon with a fiddle case and twisting employees' nípples. He also reportedly forced colleagues to watch pórnográphy featuring a client's spouse.

Four former employees recalled Webster inviting male staff to his home after hours, becoming enraged if they declined. His threats of firing were a constant reminder of his control over their careers. "We preferred he be in a bad mood because he left us alone," said one ex-employee.

  Webster’s Dark Influence on Austin C. Rick

Away from the office, Webster's manipulative behavior allegedly shattered the career of aspiring artist Austin C. Rick. Known as Austin Cody on stage, Rick claims Webster used his influence to coerce him into sexuál acts, promising career advancement in return.

Rick described a nightmarish encounter at an Easter party in 2008, where he claims Webster drûgged and assàulted him. "I drank a drink. I drank a second drink, and before that second drink was gone, I remember nothing else," Rick recounted. He woke up in Webster’s bed, realizing he had been assàulted.

Rick's career crumbled after he fled Webster’s home. "I lost everything," he said. "I lost my booking agency two days later. I lost my endorsements. I lost all of my radio promotion. I had nothing."

  National Wave of Harassmént Allegations

These revelations come amid a continuous reckoning with sexuál harassmént across industries. High-profile cases involving Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, Bill Cosby, R Kelly and, most recently, P Diddy, to name a few, have dominated headlines, emboldening victims to come forward.

There is also the new allegation of sexuál favors between The Voice contestant Asher HaVon and an unnamed producer on the long-time NBC show that's now being alleged.

The former Webster employees hope their stories will contribute to this broader movement for accountability. Webster PR has since rebranded as Westby PR, and is now led by Jeremy Westby, in light of the allegations.

            Industry Shaken to the Core

The recurring scandal surrounding Kirt Webster underscores a pervasive issue within the music industry, not just in country but historically in pop and hip hop as well, where power and influence often shield perpetrators from consequences. As more victims speak out, the full extent of Webster's alleged abusés—and the industry's complicity—may come to light, promising a reckoning long overdue.