AL News Publisher Accused of Sexual Assault

Jan 3, 2018

H. Brandt Ayers
Credit Getty

The chairman of an Alabama newspaper company has been accused of assaulting female employees by spanking them while he was a newsroom executive decades ago.

Multiple news outlets have reported that at least three women are accusing H. Brandt Ayers, the chairman of Consolidated Publishing Co., of hitting and assaulting them while Ayers was the publisher at the Anniston Star. Consolidated operates that newspaper along with five others.

One of the three women, Veronica Pike Kennedy, says she was working part-time as a clerk at the paper in the mid-1970’s when Ayers whipped her with a metal ruler. Ayers, now 82, issued a statement saying he “did some things I regret” when he was a “very young man with more authority than judgement.”

The incidents happened too long ago for any criminal charges to be filed. Ayers stepped down as publisher of the Anniston Star last year.