Kirt Webster, Nashville Publicist Accused of Sexual Misconduct, Was Backstage at the 2019 CMA Awards
Alleged sexual predator and former high-level country music publicist Kirt Webster was backstage at the 2019 CMA Awards on Wednesday night (Nov. 13), spending time with some of his former clients. Singer-songwriter Stella Parton, sister of country superstar and former Webster PR client Dolly Parton, posted a message to Facebook on Thursday (Nov. 14), after seeing the photos, in which she voices concern about Webster's appearance at the ceremony.
"I have noticed new photos from backstage at the CMAs last night and Kirt Webster the publicity person who had dozens of sexual assault allegations brought against him last year was front and center," Stella Parton writes. "I saw photos of him in my sister Dolly’s dressing room standing with her smiling like a Cheshire Cat! These predators feel entitled to do the horrific things they do and even superstars like my sister, Billy Ray Cyrus, Tanya Tucker and others that he represented won’t say a word."
Photos posted to Webster's Facebook page and obtained by The Boot show him backstage, posing for photos with Dolly Parton, Crystal Gayle and Janie Fricke, who defended Webster when allegations of sexual assault and misconduct, and other disturbing behavior, were made against him in late 2017. According to Fox News, Webster was at the 2019 CMA Awards as a guest of Fricke's and was "overwhelmed with positive welcoming reactions."
A representative for the Country Music Association confirmed to The Boot that Webster was a guest of a presenter on Wednesday night, but did not specify who. Per to NewsChannel 5, Webster now manages Fricke, who helped present the Female Vocalist of the Year award.
"We have all made mistakes and we have paid the consequences of those mistakes," Webster tells Fox News. "We have all been accused of things (big and small) that we haven’t done. Life is a roller coaster, you have highs and lows, you just hope you have more highs than lows. Redemption is an amazing thing. God is good!”
In January, Webster hinted that he was making a return to the public relations world, launching a new website including photos of his former clients and lists of the awards he received while working in PR previously. "I am blessed to have many friends in the music business, many whom have opened their hearts and businesses to me," he said at the time. "People that know me … know I have a big personality and who I am … Things and projects are happening already. People get hired and fired daily, doesn’t mean they don’t move their life forward."
Following the 2019 CMA Awards, Webster confirmed to NewsChannel 5, "I am back working with several artists on a variety of projects and will continue to do so. I didn’t realize someone returning to work was such a news story, but I will take it.” The news outlet reports that, in addition to Fricke, Webster is also managing "American Pie" singer Don McLean. Both artists are represented on the PR side by Jeremy Westby, a former member of the Webster PR team who also defended Webster when the allegations against him came out.
"I do not represent Dolly Parton," Webster confirmed to NewsChannel 5, "but after working with someone for 10 years, we still remain friends. It was great to see her and so many friends last night."
Stella Parton noted in her Thursday Facebook post that she believes that Webster is still active in the industry, even after former country singer and ex-Webster PR client Austin Rick accused Webster of sexually molesting and abusing him. Multiple employees of the now-defunct Webster PR alleged similar behavior from Webster to multiple press outlets.
"It’s been proven that he never stopped working for one day after the scandal broke last year," Parton continues. "It is a shame on the artists who stay silent and the CMAs for condoning this man’s perverted acts. My sister’s management is just as complicit in this scandal."
The Boot has reached out to Dolly Parton's representatives for comment. We will update this story with further details, should they be made available.
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