It’s hard to put into words that angst we feel in covering the implosion* of the Hayden family, who were the stars of the now-canceled Discovery Channel hit reality show “Sons of Guns.”
Recently, Will Hayden was arrested and charged with sex crimes against his 12-year-old daughter. He remains in jail awaiting trial.
His older daughter Stephanie Hayden Ford and her husband Kristafor Ford started making suggestions on Facebook last week that she had been molested as well, and she has now apparently intends to go to authorities to make those allegations official. Sources close to the family suggest that they believe the allegations by both daughters have merit, and that there is physical evidence to support the allegations.
But Fox is reporting that the second accuser isn’t Ford… yet:
Another woman has come forward with allegations against former “Sons of Guns” star Will Hayden, prompting East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Detectives Monday to add forcible rape to the list of charges the 49-year-old is facing.
The victim told detectives she was allegedly raped 22 years ago—when she was 12 years old—while she was staying with the Hayden family at their apartment.
A source with the police told us though there has been speculation that Hayden’s older daughter Stephanie Hayden Ford was making claims against him, the woman who came forward to them is not Ford.
These are incredibly serious charges of a very delicate nature… and that’s why I’m having such a hard time with the revelation that Stephanie Hayden Ford is going on a daytime talk show to make the allegations publicly:
A rep for Stephanie Hayden Ford told FOX411 she was not going to comment on the allegations against her father at this time. She will be appearing on Dr. Phil McGraw’s show on Thursday, and a press release for the show promises that during the episode “Ford makes new allegations against her father.”
“I decided to appear on ‘Dr. Phil’ to tell my story exclusively because I know he would take it seriously,” she said in a statement. “With my father now in jail, everyone in my family and in our company are now talking openly for the first time. I have nothing to gain from this exclusive interview, but to begin living in truth and getting help for myself and my sister. I just pray that our story will somehow prevent another victim from staying silent.”
Red Jacket Firearms did not return FOX411’s request for comment.
Sexual abuse victims respond in widely varying and sometimes erratic ways to the abuse they’ve suffered. Their responses can vary from individual to individual, and a single individual can react in very different ways at different times. In high-profile cases such as this, the pressure can be almost unbearable, and so I have a very hard time judging the affected individuals. I cannot judge Stephanie Hayden Ford for her desire to air these allegations against her father on daytime television.
I do, however, have serious concerns about her representation, both legal and business, who told her it was a good idea to appear on this kind of exploitative show.
Notably, Red Jacket Firearms seems to be distancing itself from the situation (as much as it can, and has issued a cautious “no comment.”
It would have been wise for the Fords to follow their lead.
Update: Stephanie Hayden Ford’s publicist Jill Trammel has released a statement about the allegations against Will Hayden and Stephanie’s decision to appear on the Dr. Phil show.
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