Third "Sons Of Guns" Accuser May Come Forward. Daughter To Appear On Dr. Phil.

Stephanie Hayden Ford has stepped forward to accuse her father Will Hayden of rape.
Stephanie Hayden Ford has stepped forward to accuse her father Will Hayden of rape.
Stephanie Hayden Ford is going to make public accusations against her father on “Dr. Phil.”

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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Jill Trammel’s statement:

My name is Jill Trammell, owner of Patriot Promotions PR. I have been Stephanie’s booking representative/publicist and friend for the last two years. I arranged and accompanied her to the Dr. Phil interview last week and handled all the initial PR and crisis management for Red Jacket Firearms. I have received many requests for comment. I for one, am sickened by what I’ve come to know and will do everything I can to help them make something decent, out of these indecent events. For Stephanie’s sake, I would like to clear up some misinformation currently running in the news and expand on the Dr. Phil interview announcement, with an invitation (to TV press only) for an additional exclusive that may air after Sept. 17th. There is much more that needs to come to light on this developing story, for the sake of all involved. If anyone is interested, please contact me at the number below the CBS press release.

What don’t you know already? There is shocking personal and company history to be told about the behavior of the accused; Will Hayden, a “family man” who controlled Stephanie’s life and much of the content behind the hit reality show “Sons of Guns” on Discovery Channel for the last 5 years.

Long before any talks of interviews, Stephanie told her story of abuse to the authorities in support of her sister because it was the right thing to do. Once this became news, her father’s lawyer made a “spin” statement to the press that she did this for money by coming out with her abuse after initially defending her father. That is simply ridiculous, though factually she has suffered financial loses for years, due to her father’s bad dealings and mishandling of her monies and the company. Unfortunately, the entertainment rag TMZ, reported headlines that there were “rape” charges filed by Stephanie. In true form of journalistic misrepresentation, this was for headline value, rather than fact. Truthful accounts of her abuse are told on the Dr. Phil exclusive in her own words. I urge you to watch on Sept. 11th (Dr. Phil’s premiere week) and realize when you do, that this short interview only touches the surface of what is yet to be revealed.

People should also know that recently, after learning of Stephanie’s bravery in going public with her abuse, another woman close to the family came forward as well. Her charges of aggravated rape by Will Hayden was released yesterday by the Baton Rouge authorities. While she has moved as far away as possible from Will Hayden, Stephanie inspired her to come forward with her truth. Additionally, Stephanie’s 12 yr. old sister has other sexual abuse charges mounting on the case against Will Hayden from other locations. What happens in darkness, eventually comes to light and with sexual abuse being so common in our world today, we cannot ignore it, but must work toward helping others be released from their nightmares. By doing this, healing can begin for the victims and those who love them.

I want to be clear, I have worked with some of our military’s greatest heroes, but Stephanie Hayden Ford is one of the strongest warriors I have been blessed to know. She has gone public with her story for one reason only, to help others find the strength and support to do the same. No one should have to suffer in silence and fear, due to the stigma of sexual abuse. True warrior women do what is right to bring truth and justice to the deserving. I would also like to recognize another warrior woman, Will’s former P.A. whose courage to report what she saw, allowed for all this truth to finally come out. Her bravery, along with Stephanie’s, has likely saved a young girl from enduring more terror at the hands of the person she relied on the most. The accusations and original “spin” by Will Hayden himself, that there was motive by the PA to frame him, were investigated and the only results have been the uncovering of more financial mayhem by his own hands, that effected the company and the family.

Stephanie is a loyal friend, loving sister and a daughter who had forgiven her father for his inappropriate behaviors many years earlier. She truly loved him and was wrapped around his finger as the reality show portrayed, due to years of his overt control and manipulations. Her husband Kris Ford, is a steadfast and loving rock of support and has provided much strength for both Stephanie and her sister. I pray that our industry, along with friends and patriots everywhere, stand in support of her choice to tell the whole story and not just pieces of it and know that they are done with prayer that it will help others. We have all heard, and must believe, that which does not kill us will make us stronger, adversity refines a believer like fire tempers gold and with faith there is beauty from ashes. Stephanie, her sister, their family, the company and victims of sexual abuse everywhere, all need to have hope and faith that something good will come of releasing the power over them by evil doers. They will rise out of the fire and live life without regret when they do so. I cannot wait to see the beautiful life that will now be revealed for them.

Copy of CBS Press Release follows;


(Hollywood, CA – September X, 2014) – DR. PHIL, television’s #1-rated syndicated daytime talk show, continues its ripped-from-the-headlines premiere week with an exclusive interview with Stephanie Hayden Ford, daughter of Will Hayden, star of the defunct reality series “Sons of Guns,” who was recently arrested in Louisiana on charges of molestation of a juvenile. In the interview, Ford talks to Dr. Phil about what she thinks of the allegations against her father, and if she believes them to be true. And, for the first time publicly, Ford makes new allegations against her father. The episode airs Thursday, September 11 (check local listings).

Said Stephanie Hayden Ford: “I decided to appear on DR. PHIL to tell my story exclusively because I know he would take it seriously. 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.”

* This is Second Amendment-related news due to the high-profile nature of the firearms-focused show, so we're compelled to cover these events, even though we did not care for the way Discovery Channel and the Hayden's portrayed gun owners on and off the show.

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