Kid Rock says sexual harassment ‘has to stop’
He’s talking about the claims surrounding his former spokesperson, Kirt Webster
Kid Rock is addressing accusations of sexual assault lobbed against his former spokesman, Kirt Webster.
Webster, the Nashville-based publicist who also represents Dolly Parton and Hank Williams Jr., is accused of drugging and groping former country musician Austin Rick, who performed under the name Austin Cody.
After the allegations were made, Rock says he terminated his professional relationship with Webster.
“I hope to god this (expletive) he is being accused of is not true as he has been nothing but a good friend to me,” Rock wrote in an email to Bob Lefsetz, whose popular Lefsetz Letter newsletter is read by many entertainment industry professionals. “But if it comes to light that it is, I will be the first to cut the head off the snake.”
Speaking to Nashville Scene, Rick alleged Webster sexually assaulted him on several different occasions.
“I started working with Kirt, and before I knew it, it didn’t take long before I was trapped in a hellhole that I could not get out of,” Rick told the alt-weekly. “I trusted him completely, and he wanted to make me a star just long enough to sexually molest and abuse me. And I remember one time he told me, ‘I want there to be fireworks in your career, but only if there's fireworks between us.’ And that was like pretty early on in our relationship.”
Webster has denied the claims; a spokesman for Webster told Nashville Scene, “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.”
Rock, whose comments were printed Thursday by Lefsetz, says he takes accusations of sexual assault and mistreatment of others “dead seriously.”
“I never witnessed or heard about any of this outside that he was probably gay, which I could care less about,” Rock writes. “We (BMG) canceled his and his companies (sic) services upon not only hearing about these, but other rumors that are starting to swirl.
“Unfortunately, I believe sexual harassment is like cancer,” Rock says. “We all know someone affected by it and it has to stop.”
Rock’s new album, “Sweet Southern Sugar,” is due out Friday.