Former Discovery Channel star Will Hayden helped make the Red Jacket Firearms brand one of the hottest in the world of reality television via the hit show “Son of Guns,” and now it seems he offered no defense to swindling the company that he helped make famous:
Five days after Joseph Meaux’s former business partner and “Sons of Guns” TV costar Will Hayden was booked into jail on rape charges, the Baton Rouge business owner was dealt another blow.
He learned that in a roundabout way, Hayden had been taking money from the licensing company they shared for Red Jacket Firearms and was trying to keep it for himself.
Meaux intercepted a check mailed to Hayden for $5,000 on Aug. 31, after Meaux had the store’s license company, Red Jacket Licensing, signed over to his name. Meaux took over as the company’s principal officer as a result of Hayden’s recent legal troubles that prompted Discovery Channel to cancel the popular reality show featuring their gun store. A Texas car dealership sent the money to Hayden after apparently negotiating a deal to manufacture Jeep Wranglers with Red Jacket Firearms trademark and logo.
The man he thought of as a brother, Meaux said he learned, was not only accused of raping a child but had been cutting him and their other partners out of a trademark licensing deal.
“I thought I knew him,” Meaux said. “Both things were very shocking.”
Unlike the separate criminal cases against Hayden for aggravated rape that are just starting in East Baton Rogue and Livingston Parish, a civil lawsuit against Hayden had already decided. A judge ruled that Hayden owed $131,309 in damages and penalties, plus more than $5,000 in attorneys fees. Hayden offered no defense.
Unfortunately, Red Jacket isn’t likely to ever see the money that the judge says they are owned from Hayden’s shady business deals. His reputation has already been shattered in the court of public opinion thanks to allegations that he molested at least three different people , and so it will be difficult for him earn money to settle his debt, even presuming that he wins the criminals cases filed against him. If he is convicted, the aggravated rape counts carry with them a mandatory life sentence.
“I’m going to let the court figure (the criminal charges) out and determine guilt or innocence,” Meaux said. “But in the case of the (civil suit), I know there was wrongdoing.”
Meaux added, “It brings into question, what is this man capable of?”
As the criminal cases in two separate parishes move forward, I’m sure we’ll get an idea of what Will Hayden was capable of soon enough.