Wednesday, November 1, 2017
– Kirt Webster, the powerful head of a PR firm bearing his name, was accused of multiple allegations of unwanted sexual advances, according to a report in the Nashville Scene.
Webster PR also has been renamed Westby Public Relations with Jeremy Westby running the firm, which tends to specialize in older artists, including Dolly Parton, The Oak Ridge Boys and Kenny Rogers along with Kid Rock. Webster has apparently stepped away from the firm, but denied the allegations.
The Tennessean also reported a series of incidents involving Webster, including those of one-time client, singer Austin Cody Rick. The North Carolina resident alleged that Webster drugged him and sexually abused him. Rick has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise legal funds to go after Webster. He called his campaign "Legal Team to Expose Kirt Webster."
While no one from Webster could be reached, a statement posted at
Music Row from Webster PR said, "As a single adult, Mr. Webster has had multiple relationships over the course of his professional life, all of which have been consensual. This includes a brief relationship with Mr. Rick. It saddens Mr. Webster that nine years later, after Mr. Rick's music career has been stagnant, Mr. Rick has taken the opportunistic approach of mischaracterizing that relationship and posting untrue allegations."
The Scene article also quoted staffers as labeling the firm as being a "toxic" environment due to Webster. Webster has "the most toxic work environment," the unnamed staffer said.
The female staffer accused Webster of regularly making abusive and sexually suggestive comments about staffers with their colleagues present.
The Scene said it could not reach Webster for comment.
A former male staffer told the Scene of inappropriate behavior during his job interview at Webster's home. The man said he was asked "What's the craziest or most risqué thing you've ever done?" and, "Would you have sex with someone in front of people?"
An unnamed male singer also accused Webster of making sexual advances based on his position in the music industry. The singer told the Scene that Webster invited him to his house after a show. "He was just like, 'You want to meet Reba and Dolly, don't you?' And then he was like, 'You know you have to make sacrifices to be a star, don't you?' He told me after that he was going to have to see me naked. It ended up happening, and I'm definitely not proud of it. That was the first time."
"He wanted me take a shower, and I said, 'No, I've already showered,' and I felt really uncomfortable and said I was going to go. Then he was like, 'Put your clothes back on, I'm sorry.' "
That was not the last time that happened, according to the singer said. Another occurrence happened following a show.
"I was pretty drunk, and I rode back with his assistant to his house, and his assistant lives in his guest house," the singer said. "I was asleep on the couch, and when I woke up, (Webster) he was messing with me. He was like, 'It's fine,' and I'm like, 'No, it's not.' And he says, 'You want to be a star, don't you?' And it's so weird and I'm embarrassed, and I didn't know what to do about it, and I don't know how to talk about it."
The singer later went to Webster's office. "I get there and he brings me into this room where they do filming for TV shows and stuff," the singer says. "He says, 'Sit on the couch.' And I said OK. And then he said to pull my pants down. I said, 'Kirt, I'm tired of doing this,' and he's like 'If you're not going to work with me, I'm not going to work with you.' And I was like, 'I really don't want to make a music career doing things like this, it's embarrassing.' He wanted to give me a blow job, and he kept going on and on, and I let him that night. And that was the last time. And I haven't seen him since."
There is no indication of any changes on the Webster web site.