Even If Will Hayden Is Innocent, Career Is Over


One of the basic tenets of North American criminal justice is that people are assumed innocent until proven guilty.  In the case of former Sons of Guns star Will Hayden, though, it would seem that everyone connected with the star is distancing themselves sooner rather than later.

It seems as though the speed with which people distance themselves from alleged offenders depends on the crime alleged to have occurred.  Certainly, sex crimes – particularly crimes against children – are particularly heinous, and they should be deemed so.  The press, however, has jumped on this story, and with every mention of Hayden or his crime, Hayden’s conviction in the jury of public opinion has all but solidified.  The problem is, Hayden has only been arrested; he has not been to trial, convicted or acquitted.  Hayden’s unfortunate past, though, has already been dug up, complete with prior comments about virgins that may or may not have been taken out of context.

The discussions about Hayden’s brutal past and the picture of what is likely his mug shot has hit many papers already, and this has done nothing but excoriate him further.  His own gun shop has effectively disowned him, and Discovery has rightfully pulled the show from its website and the airwaves.  As a reputable educational channel, there is no way Discovery can afford any connection with an accused child rapist.  Gun shops already have a difficult reputation, given the continued concerns about weapons falling into the wrong hands, particularly since Monday’s tragedy where a 9-year-old accidentally shot her shooting instructor when she lost control of the Uzi she was learning to shoot.

Hayden, however, has the right to have his story heard.  If he is guilty, he needs to be punished, and severely – I am not the only one who has suffered at the hands of a child molester, and for the sake of his children, he needs to be removed from the situation permanently.  The phrase is “innocent until proven guilty,” though, and no one deserves to be raked over the coals for something that hasn’t proven to be a crime yet.

Am I supportive of the man?  No.  The crimes he has been charged with are horrendous, and if he is guilty, it is my sincerest hope that every possible punishment is flung at him.  However, what really happened has yet to be seen in court.  Regardless of whether he is innocent or guilty at this point, it will take a lifetime for his family and those connected to him to recover.  It will take the rest of his daughters’ lives to recover and learn to overcome the terrible scars inflicted by their father – if he’s been found guilty.

Unfortunately for Hayden, there is no recovery if he is found innocent.  Accusations of a sexual crime, particularly one against children, tend to stick with an individual, regardless of whether or not the person is innocent.  The court of public opinion tends to brutalize those accused of crimes of this nature, and that means Hayden truly can kiss his career goodbye.

Of course, Hayden is not the only celebrity to be accused of a crime.  Duane “Dog” Chapman of Dog the Bounty Hunter fame was raked over the coals for his now-famous rant about his son’s girlfriend.  He did manage to salvage his career, and A & E renewed Chapman’s show.  However, Chapman was not accused of a sexual crime.  He was accused, essentially, of being a bigot.  He has since overcome those days and, with his wife Beth, was photographed in support of the No H8 campaign.

Those celebrities accused of sexual crimes, though, do not really recover.  Michael Jackson, for instance, became better known in his life for the accusations that had been leveled against him instead of his artistic endeavors.  Now several years past his death, these accusations seem to be long behind him as his posthumous album appears to be doing well.

The accusations against Hayden, however, are simply too heinous to be ignored, even if the man is innocent.  It seems it is one thing, particularly in Hollywood, to have sexual assault allegations flung at you; it is quite another when those accusations say you are charged with raping your daughter.  There will be no recovery from this as far as Will Hayden goes; his career is over, whether he is guilty or not.

Opinion by Christina St-Jean


Washington Post

Aces Showbiz

12 Responses to "Even If Will Hayden Is Innocent, Career Is Over"

  1. Frank Citizen   September 7, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    I want to see how thing come out in court. If he is innocent shame on those who lied to destroy a man’s life. If he’s guilty….THEN HANG’EM HIGH!

  2. Slickhawk   August 31, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    “Innocent until PROVEN guilty”????? If he’s innocent until proven guilty why was he arrested? Why does he get a restraining order? Why when asked to take a lie detector test to PROVEN his innocence did he agree if the accuser would take one as well and the District attorney refused?Reason? Because this system is broken. Are forefathers fought for our rights through war and barring arms and know they start by taking guns and rights immediately if your arrested and before proving your guilty of anything. I have no idea if he’s guilty or innocent. But if he, vengeance is mine says the bible. But if not it also says “be careful that you judge people harshly that you aren’t judged harshly yourself “. And the sad thing is innocent people do go to jail so is there anyway to TRULY know who’s innocent and who’s guilty. So I find it best to just say what a horrible situation all the way around. And may the guilty party have endless sleepless nights until they’ve asked forgiveness and have proven bye there actions they are sorry. And then may we all look in our closet before we judge any person!

  3. typhoon4x4@aol.com   August 30, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    What show it’s been off the air for over a year .

  4. frank   August 30, 2014 at 4:29 pm


  5. W. Harder   August 30, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    I am hesitant in this case to form an opinion one way or another. It seems to me that this could very well be a case where the ex has set up the situation and used her daughter. These cases happen much more frequently than most people know, or care to know. The media loves to show a female who has been wronged in some fashion or another by a male. I am not saying that this doesn’t happen. In fact it happens all the time. I am not saying that Will is a victim. He has always seemed a little creepy to me. What I am saying is that this particular case has a certain smell to it that just doesn’t seem right. There just seems to me that this could be a case of someone trying to ruin another person’s life. If the facts of the case come out and Mr. Hayden is found guilty, I hope they put him away forever. Crimes on children make me sick. He should get everything that is coming to him. On the other hand, if a couple weeks from now we find out that this is a blackmail ploy by the mother of the child, I would hope that she is put away forever. Using a child to ruin someone’s life is also sickening to me. Unfortunately, if we do find that the mother of the child is using her child to get back at Mr. Hayden, I guarantee that we will only find out about it by looking at page 48 of the newspaper, buried in small ink. There should be a law that requires the media to apologize in the same manner, and with the same gusto as they use to accuse someone.

  6. William W. Thurber   August 30, 2014 at 11:49 am

    The presumption is always innocent until proven guilty. The reality is just the opposite, just look at the press frenzy around Casey Anthony, Jodi Arias, Jerry Sandusky, and Larry Craig.
    Hayden’s many problems will just begin if he is convicted. The distinct possibility is that he will be sent to the Louisiana State Prison at Angola LA. He will not survive.

  7. Jeeps   August 30, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Comments by the readers are exactly what the author was talking about. This man is judged before he’s even gone to trail. “evidence is mounting against him” You obviously have no idea how much “EVIDENCE” is presented in court for cases like this from BOTH sides. You comment on his daughter just to have the next person show you an article that says the opposite. That’s the whole problem and it mostly comes from the MEDIA. They shape people opinion based on the bias they present. Don’t forget MEDIA is a BUSINESS. They are there to make MONEY and PROFIT. Old saying in newspapers “If it BLEEDS it LEADS” if they media were to present the case the other way they would have most the country believing he is a saint be roasted over the coals. Thus the reason we have the laws he have. “Innocent until proven guilty” if you ever find yourself in front of a court, your tune will definitely change.
    PS to the author, Well done. It’s obvious you have some past issues that effect you emotionally on this issue, I wish more people were like you. Being able to step past your emotions to do or say what is right takes Courage.

  8. Really   August 30, 2014 at 1:35 am

    “became better known in his life for the accusations that had been leveled against him instead of his artistic endeavors”

    This statement alone should be enough reason to disregard anything the author has or will say.

  9. Richard   August 29, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    This is a ridiculous opinion. If he is innocent the world in which he travels will rally him back to prominence. I truly dumb now after reading this. Douchebag.

  10. Molly Powers   August 29, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Hayden’s daughter Stephanie – who is also his business partner at RJF – has also spoken out against her father by admitting he sexually abused her at age 12. She has everything to lose and nothing to gain by exposing his history of abusing her. The evidence is mounting rapidly against him. In fact, the only person who is defending him publicly is his current wife. I am not including the illiterate fans comments on facebook. If he makes bail, there is nowhere he can go where his safety can be guaranteed. The number of death threats on facebook alone is a statement in itself of how outraged the public is.

  11. Tom Magee   August 29, 2014 at 4:51 am

    Woody Allen comes to mind.


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