In a new interview, Austin Rick - the ex-country singer who has accused PR executive Kirt Webster of sexually molesting and abusing him in the late 2000s - speaks out about his decision to come forward.
Earlier this week, Webster was accused of sexual misconduct from a former client. "He invited me into his hot tub, and when I told him I didn't have a swimsuit, he implied I could come in naked".
Austin Rick, who performed under the moniker Austin Cody, posted his story Friday on Facebook.
Webster has denied Rick's allegations through a statement from a spokesperson. You are all heroes.
"The point of my message is, selfishly, the hope that getting it out of my own head and to you and a few industry folks finally, will help me reach some kind of relief/peace of mind", he wrote. He also says Webster offered "publicity opportunities and magazine columns in exchange for sexual acts". "He is like, bear-hugging slash cuddling me and he's kissing my ears, my nose, my mouth, my neck, everything", Rick told The Nashville Scene.
"I knew that whatever was left of my dignity, I had to get out of there. It took me a year to escape from him and get away to where he couldn't find me or reach me any longer - although he still continued to harass me via phone and text messages for years, up until this year, even".
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I know this is perhaps an awkward statement for you to read because I don't feel like a whole human being when I remember some of the explicit events. "These things happened to me, I think they've happened to other people, and I want to stop them".
"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.
News 4 has spoken to another individual who claims Webster showed similar behavior toward him while he worked for Webster. On Thursday, a former male intern at Webster's publicity firm says he, too, was sexually harassed by the PR professional.
Artists who have been removed from the site - as of 10:45 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 2 - since the allegations were reported are Aaron Lewis, Big & Rich, Bill Anderson, Billy Ray Cyrus, Cyndi Lauper, Deborah Allen, Denny Strickland, Dolly Parton, Don McLean, Gene Watson, Hank Williams Jr., Jeannie Seely, Jimmy Fortune, John Conlee, Johnny Lee, KC and the Sunshine Band, Kenny G, Kid Rock, Keifer Sutherland, Lacy J. Dalton, Lee Greenwood, Leroy Van Dyke, Locash, Lucas Hoge, Moe Bandy, Olivia Lane, Roy Clark, Sam Moore, Sylvia, Tanya Tucker, The Oak Ridge Boys, Tim Rushlow, Wanda Jackson and William Michael Morgan. "This includes a brief relationship with Mr. Rick", a rep for Webster PR said in a statement to The Nashville Scene Tuesday.
It also says Webster is taking some time off to focus on the allegations he's facing.