Things appear to be getting worse by the day after the arrest of “Sons of Guns” star Will Hayden, 49, for alleged forcible rape of a juvenile. First, the show itself was recently cancelled after Hayden’s arrest. Now another woman has reportedly come forward with additional charges against Hayden from when she was a 12-year-old girl staying with his family. Hayden has the distinction of being arrested twice with two different celebrity mug shots on charges of rape, including reported allegations from his daughter that she was raped at age 11. Two daughters are now making allegations of rape.
Hayden became the star of the Discovery Channel series “Sons of Guns,” a reality show that followed his family as they ran his Red Jacket Firearm company in Louisiana. Red Jacket has also now severed all ties to Hayden. If the charges are true, it was a dangerous decision by Hayden to agree to star in such a show (which would put a spotlight on him and his family).
Hayden’s daughter has reportedly accused her father of oral and vaginal rape on virtually a daily basis, adding that he threatened her and allegedly told her “Don’t tell them nothing, because I’m all you got.”
Hayden was arrested in Livingston, Louisiana. After he first arrest, Hayden is quoted as saying that his ex-girlfriend — and mother of the child — was making false allegations in retaliation for breaking up with her.
However, another women has come forward to say that she was raped 22 years ago when she was staying with the Hayden family in their apartment.
In the ultimate parallel reality show universe, Hayden’s daughter insisted that she would not speak with anyone publicly until she appeared on Dr. Phil McGraw’s show. The reality star insisted that she would seek treatment from a television doctor “exclusively because I know he would take it seriously.” This cathartic experience played out in front of millions if part of what Ford described as her effort “to begin living in truth and getting help for myself and my sister.” It is truly something out of the movie “Serial Mom” when the brother of a victim and the son of Serial Mom (Chip Sutphin) briefly scuffle and then talk agents and movie deals. After getting punched by the brother, Chip Sutphin asks “But have you signed off yet?” and the victim’s brother responds “You mean for TV or print?”).
After first coming to her father’s defense against rape allegations, Ford is now reportedly adding her own rape allegations via Dr. Phil. Before the cancellation of the show, Stephanie Hayden Ford who starred with her father in the show publicly insisted that “There was never any impropriety in our home. He was and is a good father.”
She added at the time
‘”This was a false allegation and unfortunately that’s all it takes. My father is a good man, and ALL of his children love him very much and are truly sickened that a person would try to do this to our family. Its not right [sic]. You see the love we have for our family…
The one thing that really hurts us is that my sister is heartbroken that anyone could think this of her father. Its a nightmare…please stand with us.”
She was particularly adamant at the time that the show was not cancelled and could still survive if everyone just stood by Hayden and presumably against his accuser. She reportedly went to Facebook and declared:
“Guys the show is NOT cancelled! We so appreciate the outcry of injustice but its not true, I guess some ppl just need ratings lol! We are on a hold with filming while my family takes care of a few things. You guys are the best fans ever & we love you so much! Thank u for standing strong with us!”
In an added bizarre twist, Kris Ford, Stephanie’s husband, posted a poem on Facebook that appeared to aimed at her father and reportedly was posted with her consent (according to a Facebook statement). The poem below includes the lines “You fooled with my wife when she was young. Sucking and groping, do you remember what was done?”
Hayden’s lawyer has been scathing in response to Stephanie flipping her account and insisted that “After 45 shows and 20 years, this is the first I’ve heard of it. Her complaints arose only after her income from the show and [gun] shop stopped.”
That is certainly going to make for a blistering examination if this goes to trial. The could include a demand for communications from the Dr. Phil show or even a demand that the good Doctor himself appear to explore the motivations and any agreement with the daughter in appearing on the show. A plea deal may be more difficult given the public attention to the case and the extremely high sentencing for child rape defendants. The possible attacks based on the prior girlfriend and the second daughter’s flipping her account would make for extremely harsh cross examinations after if the prosecutors take the standard step of bringing out the conflicts on direct. The question however is what Hayden has to gain from a plea beyond avoiding a painful trial for him or his family. That could still be an issue for him but, at the rate that this is playing out on television, reality is stranger than fiction in the Hayden household.