[Updated, 2:12 p.m. CT]
Webster Public Relations is set to continue operating under the name Westby Public Relations, according to a statement received by MusicRow.
The company’s work for its clients will continue under the leadership of Jeremy Westby, Webster’s longtime colleague. Meanwhile, Webster will take time away from the business to “focus on combating the egregious and untrue allegations made against him,” the statement says.
An earlier statement had appeared on the Webster PR website Wednesday morning, saying the business was no longer in operation.
The new statement addresses the posting:
Earlier today, it was mistakenly posted on the Webster Public Relations’ website that the firm has been closed. This was stated incorrectly. Webster Public Relations will continue operating – but under the name Westby Public Relations – while Kirt Webster takes some time away from the business to focus on combating the egregious and untrue allegations made against him. The company’s work on behalf of its clients will continue under the leadership of Jeremy Westby, Kirt’s longstanding colleague.
Additionally, former Webster PR staffer Scott Adkins announced the launch of his own PR firm today.
[Updated, 1:30 p.m. CST]
The message on the Webster PR website has been removed.
[Previous story, 12:00 p.m. CST]
According to its website, websterpr.com, Kirt Webster‘s Webster Public Relations has closed for business as of November 1, 2017.
The longstanding PR rep—with a client list including headliners as Dolly Parton, Hank Williams Jr., Kenny Rogers, Justin Moore, Aaron Lewis and many others—was at the forefront of a scandal brought to the national spotlight on October 31 when former artist, Austin Cody Rick, accused Webster of continued sexual assault in 2008. Rick went by the stage name Cody Austin. The accusations were posted in a editorial on GoFundMe.com and featured by the Nashville Scene.
Kirt Webster denies all allegations. A prepared statement from Webster reads: “As a single adult, Mr. Webster has had multiple relationships over the course of his professional life, all of which have been consensual. This includes a brief relationship with Mr. Rick. It saddens Mr. Webster that nine years later, after Mr. Rick’s music career has been stagnant, Mr. Rick has taken the opportunistic approach of mischaracterizing that relationship and posting untrue allegations.”
According to WSMV-TV, the news organization had spoken with four individuals who claim Webster sexually assaulted them.
All business inquiries are noted to be directed to Jeremy Westby, Sr. VP. Webster sent out a press release to media as recent as Nov. 1.
Attempts to reach Webster PR representatives regarding the firm’s closing went unanswered.
This is a developing story.
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