January 2, 2018

Abuse of media women update

Anniston Star, AL  - A former Anniston Star reporter says that H. Brandt Ayers, chairman of the company that publishes the paper, sexually assaulted her in the 1970s in The Star’s newsroom.

Veronica Pike Kennedy says Ayers, then the newspaper’s publisher, spanked her against her will in an incident on a Saturday, when Ayers and Kennedy were among the few workers in the building.

“I was still determined to be a reporter after that,” Kennedy said. “But I hated Brandy Ayers with every cell in my body.”

In response to inquiries from The Star on Monday morning, Ayers issued a statement. Ayers

“As a very young man with more authority than judgment, I did some things I regret,” Ayers said in the statement. “At my advanced age I wish I could relive those days again, knowing the seriousness of my position and with the accumulated judgment that goes with age.”

Two other women who worked at The Star at the time told similar stories of spankings by the Star publisher, though each declined to have their names published, citing repercussions the revelations might have for their careers and family members.

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