Stephanie Hayden Ford Speaks Out – AmmoLand Exclusive

By Vanessa Torres: First interview since her national TV appearance on the Dr. Phil Show.

Stephanie Hayden Ford
Stephanie Hayden Ford
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

USA-(Ammoland.com)- In this first exclusive interview since her television appearance on Dr. Phil, we are speaking with Stephanie Hayden Ford, one of the stars of the former hit television show “Sons of Guns” on the Discovery Channel.

I asked her about the recent family drama that has surrounded their business, the current events at Red Jacket Firearms (RJF), and her plans for 2015.

Its clear that they are back in action after the abrupt end of her ten-year employment with RJF and their hit reality series.

Stephanie was very candid on how much she has grown in recent months with the unveiling of the struggles she had with her father, the past with Red Jacket and the growth of her new company with her husband. She has also found herself in new role, encouraging victims of abuse learn to overcome their fear of speaking out. Stephanie has turned into a positive role model for women all over the country, despite the negative attention from the press about her father and family issues. She told her truth exclusively to Dr. Phil, hoping that people would understand why she reacted the way she did about the initial allegations of sexual abuse by her father on her sister, but was highly criticized online regarding that initial statement stating that “nothing inappropriate ever happened in their home” when shortly thereafter, her sister’s story changed.

I asked her what she is doing these days and she quickly stated that she is “focused on running her new company and her business plans” for IAC Wargames: Airsoft Range & Event Facility for family style fun. They have been doing these types of events for a while with some of their airsoft fans and it naturally spills over into their ability to market products and provide training classes for newbie firearms owners.

Kris Ford
Kris Ford

Stephanie organizes and runs the events with her husband and former “Sons of Guns” co-star Kris Ford. She admits things have been really hard getting a new brand up and running, especially now having to overcoming the stigma surrounding the company and RJF, formerly her family brand.

However, stigma or no stigma…seems nothing is going to stop Stephanie from moving forward! She is a warrior woman that is for sure.

When asked about the situation currently at RJF, she stated something many fans don’t know already and was surprising even to some industry insiders.

“Red Jacket for the past few years, has been run by Joe Meaux. He has been the one making the final decisions on the day to day business operations and making plans to expand the RJF brand. I haven’t been working there at all for a couple of years now, except for filming the TV show. Joe recently took down the sign of RJF and put up his own for ‘Meaux Guns’. I’m concerned that people think this was a decision made by the shareholders, which I am still one, but we didn’t have anything to do with that. With the outstanding debts, back orders and other issues before and after my father being arrested, we haven’t been able to completely close RJF until those things are taken care of. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything to do with making those decisions anymore and wouldn’t expect that our assets would be used to start something new like that? Joe never technically fired us, but ever since he took over we haven't had a voice or able to make any positive impact. In Joe’s defense, it would be difficult to operate successfully with the influence of my father in the shop for anyone in his position.”

I just don’t know how to help fix anything at this point. It is what it is and we’re just trying to move on.”

I know a lot of people want to know…Why did you really make that initial statement in support of your father?

“Bottom line is I was expected to do it and I was pressured. My dad was hovering over my shoulder when he asked me to write that statement. I only did it for him because my sister had totally denied any abuse, which we all know that has changed and got him arrested. I also didn’t have time to get any advice on it.”

Stephanie says that after her second conversation with her sister, she decided that it was her duty to take a stand and reveal her truth. She stands firm on the facts she has reported and hasn’t done interviews, until now because others use that to try and taint the case. She isn’t worried that it will make a difference, but is still being careful.

Stephanie Hayden Ford
Stephanie Hayden Ford

Why did you choose to come out and tell your story on Dr. Phil?

“I wanted people who are in that situation to know that you can tell someone. You can get the support you need, you can get help. You just have to stay strong and don’t let opinions hurt more than the abuse. They are only words from people who don’t understand. Luckily, many people do and have come out with their own stories of abuse because of it. ”

Was it scary knowing the whole world was going to know what happened to you?

“I will be honest, it was terrifying to get behind a camera and come out with my story on Dr. Phil. My publicist arranged it because it was getting ridiculous with press people staking out the house, speculating on what was going on and generally having no regard for the pain and suffering we were all going through, so she wanted to put a stop to it once and for all in a way that they couldn’t misreport.  I had already told the police what happened, but then I had to tell it to the world. Dr. Phil was really gracious and kind, asked the right questions, so I could answer without worry that I would impact the case against my father. I couldn’t just talk to some rag mag about it.”

“I guess people don’t get how twisted the media can be. On Dr. Phil, I was saying it on camera. There is only so much you can twist in a video edit and I know this from experience, though they still manage to twist a lot!   It also just felt like it was the right place and time to do it. I have personally been ridiculed a lot because of it. People were really mean and said I was just trying to get more fame or money out of it. Dr. Phil doesn’t pay people for interviews, by the way and I still don’t get what kind of fame that I would be seeking.”

“I was already on a hit prime time cable show?! This is the first real interview I’ve done since then and you know…no one wants to be in the limelight for something so horrible. It makes no sense. They obviously don’t understand what its like to be a victim or the sister of someone who is. I told my story because it was the right thing to do for me and for my sister. Where and to whom I told it really doesn’t matter..just that I did it. But the point of it was to move forward and it did the job stopping the speculation and some harassment, that is for sure.”

How is the relationship with your sister now?

“Now that some time has passed, things have gotten a lot better. We are closer than ever and my sister is finally getting her life back. Most importantly, she is getting her smile back learning to cope with life, and move forward.”

What was it like for you personally, after your father’s arrest and allegations of abuse were brought to light?

“After the arrest of my father, things really started to change. At the time, we thought that we would still be having another season of Sons of Guns, but then everything came out and we were thrown into a tailspin.  I felt really depressed and still have a lot of anxiety over all of it. We couldn't focus on the show anymore and had to concentrate on our own projects just to survive. We needed to surround ourselves with positive supporters and family, so Kris started working more with his own dad’s family business, Ford's Firearms ( www.fordsguns.com ) in Baton Rouge, LA. I just wanted to secure a future for myself and my family and do something we were already passionate about and loved. I had to find something to stay positive about so I continued to work on building IAC Wargames and a new brand people could love someday. “

What about the allegations, and charges put up against you and your husband?

“With the allegations, and charges that were placed upon Kris and myself, they were dropped. There was no evidence that allowed for the charges to be warranted. Fact of the matter is we love our children very much, and do everything we can to be the best parents possible for them.”

How has it been starting over after so many years working at RJF?

“It has been challenging starting everything from scratch and we are still looking for investors to help us get to the next level. Until you do it all yourself, you don’t realize there are so many things needed for a start up company. We still have a lot to offer to the industry and look forward to that without the ongoing RJF drama we’ve dealt with.

Stephanie Hayden Ford
Stephanie Hayden Ford

Tell me something else that the fans who think they know you, don’t really know…

“Wow, well there is a lot! I guess people don’t get that we’re just people. We have kids to care for, get them up and off to school everyday and keep them all happy and somewhat sheltered from all this. We have to have a lot of faith in God that things are going to get better. One thing they probably wouldn’t guess so much, is that even during the last season of the show, Kris and I had lost a lot of our confidence. We didn’t know how we would be doing from day to day.”

“We were emotionally beat down by lost opportunities for branding that were kicked back by the management at RJF, especially when the show was popular, so we did not have any “nest egg” and were not so “squared away” as people want to believe. Everything happened so suddenly and we’ve struggled to make ends meet. Not so different from most small business owners and typical American middle class families do these days.”

“Kris and I have been trying for a long time (along with some well meaning other professionals), to take advantage of the RJF brand having a hit prime time cable show and make some real money at it. I t just ended up being a losing battle with those who controlled the company, including my dad. After all this happened, we didn’t think we would ever get on a good track again. We now realize when you stand up for what you believe, enemies always attack harder. Some may have seen the news report on our arrest, which never had any criminal charges, thought they would want you to think so. We’ve been fighting our own battles with local child authorities and an ex family member who wants to see us miserable. That whole story by the media is just a reflection of what people think they know about us, but don’t really. Hopefully that will all be over soon and I can talk about it.“

What are you going to be able to do now, that you weren’t able to before?

“When we actually were working at RJF, we did not have any support or creative freedom to do anything new and many of our licensing and firearm builds, were shot down before they were ever considered. Now that we have IAC, we can really put our experience and passion toward good use and hopefully make a new, positive impression on families and fans, so many of whom have held us up with their support during these hard times. Teaching conceal carry classes to new firearms owners and building an Airsoft range event facility, is a dream come true and the product line is just an expression of who we are and what we love to use ourselves. We have been blessed to be on a really great ride through the years with a hit show and have always tried to use any of our publicity to give back to veterans, disabled children and victims of abuse.”

“If we were doing it during the good times, before people know what they know now…we are not about to stop doing good things during hard times.”

That’s not who we are. Oh and Kris, well he writes some compelling music and lyrics these days. Guess hard times helps with creativity too.”

IAC Wargames Logo
IAC Wargames Logo

I hear you are attending SHOT Show this year. What are your plans?

“Well, we have a couple parties to attend and a lot of networking to do. We didn’t book any appearances at booths this year… not surprisingly, people just don’t know what to think about us since all this bad press, but are hopeful people will reach out and actually talk to us. Not because we are signing autographs this time, but to create some new and lasting business partnerships. At SHOT people can find us looking for dealers, distributors and purchase orders for IAC & IAC Wargames.

One of the mottos for the products we’ll be selling is “A tactical line for those unafraid to express themselves.”

We thought that was pretty appropriate for us. We have a cool product ready to launch that we know people are going to love. It’s affordable, fun, edgy and could be mass distributed in stores nationwide. We’d also like to meet with companies that want to be more engaged with female gun owners. There are so many who continue to support me and they really have a lot to offer the industry right now.”

Stephanie Hayden Ford & Kris Ford
Stephanie Hayden Ford & Kris Ford

Do you have a message to the fans and/or former fans of the show “Sons of Guns”?

”This is only the beginning for us, not the end. We’d really like to show everyone what we can do without all the drama of RJF dragging us down. We understand the confusion by the fans and just want them to know that there is always things going on you don’t see, behind the scenes. We have gone through a lot in the past few years and its not over yet, but we are sure eventually everything will come out in the wash and we are trusting that the justice system can do its job. I am not here to give opinion or to sway it. Just answers and facts about me and our situation.”

“We have hope that things will get back to being as great as they were before, maybe even better. We keep trying to do what is right on all fronts. We take some comfort in the fact, that if you don’t have people mad at you sometime in life, you’ve probably never stood up for anything or anyone before. We know a lot of bad things that happen to good people for that reason alone! We have faith that everything happens for a reason and hope you do too. Thanks for your support through these rough times. We really appreciate it and feel blessed even in bad times, because there is always something we can learn from it.”

For More Information on IAC services and products: please visit http://www.iacwargames.com/
Media or Interview inquiries: [email protected]

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    James Brigham (Bigg) BunyonLee MaoRobertRichJeffrey Hurley Recent comment authors
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    James Brigham (Bigg) Bunyon
    Guest
    James Brigham (Bigg) Bunyon

    For over thirty years I was an avid gun magazine reader. I kept Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times and several others in a box in the attic as every now and then I wanted to reread a certain story or refresh my facts. Then I found a recycled old story … word for word including the original pictures and comments. After I found one article, a repeat of a story on the “new” S&W 1006 I looked for others. The situation was rampant. That was in the early ’90s and I was paying good hard earned money or regurgitated articles.… Read more »

    Robert
    Guest
    Robert

    Make no mistake about it takes a lot for this young lady and her husband to deal deal with all of this I hope they get the investors they need to to have a good life with there kids

    Jeffrey Hurley
    Guest
    Jeffrey Hurley

    Wishing Stephanie and Kris all good times from here on out. Lord knows, you’ve had more than your fair share of bad times.

    rcoh
    Guest
    rcoh

    Really? Old news! This is the best for today? Really? Meh.

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    The two gentlemen that provide us with this forum, at no cost to us, take Mondays off. They have to get one day off per week. Let us not be bosses that are too demanding.

    oldvet
    Guest
    oldvet

    @Wild Bill ….Are you telling us that these two gentleman are “gil and ts or clark kent etc.?

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    @oldvet, No, they are definitely not gil or clark. They are two regular guys that administer the site, that they created, after their day jobs. They take Mondays off. Send them an email and introduce yourself.

    oldvet
    Guest
    oldvet

    @Hirider You are right, had not looked at the original date. Appears to indicate Ammoland may just be stirring the pot.

    Hirider
    Guest
    Hirider

    Don’t know why you’re rehashing a two year old article, but as soon as I realized this was outdated, I stopped reading and had to castigate you for this. This is too common on the internet. Continuing this will NOT keep my attention.

    gary D.
    Guest
    gary D.

    Good job Stephanie. Stay strong. Good luck with IAC. I hope you all can move the new brand forward. Hopefully with a new TV series from IAC.

    rbrittne
    Guest
    rbrittne

    WHAT THE HELL??? Ammoland….This is a 2015 story…..OLD NEWS……..Why are you rehashing old news??? Will Hayden has been convicted already! Why dont you interview her Now after the conviction rather than re hash old news???? Seems like you just trow out as many stories as possible…..quantity over quality……… This is it for me I’m unsubscribing…… There are REAL quality gun news sites out there to get good stories from!

    Ammoland
    Admin

    We are not “rehashing”. How is it our fault that an older article is still this popular? Sad to see you go.

    Roy D.
    Guest
    Roy D.

    You must not be familiar with how these type of websites, ie: Glocktalk, Ar15.com, etc, work. If someone posts on a thread the thread moves to the front of the line. If no one else posts it will just as quickly move off the front page into history.. That is the way it works, period.

    Dan
    Guest
    Dan

    Lordy, Lordy, ” judge not for You will be judged !”. The Tangle webs we weave ! Pots calling the kettle black!

    Country Boy
    Guest
    Country Boy

    I wish you the best of luck in any and all of your future endeavors Stephanie.

    You are a survivor, so…just keep on keepin’ on !

    Kent San
    Guest
    Kent San

    Ford should change his name to something more appropriate. I’d suggest Goober F*cktard.

    jim
    Guest
    jim

    I bet her dad will be taken care of in prison.
    Con’s don’t take likely to sexually abusing children.
    On the show he acted like some sort of bad ass.
    We’ll see how bad ass he is in prison without his weapons.

    Compa
    Guest
    Compa

    That hood rat with her rat husband new what they were doing getting rich bitch

    Rich
    Guest
    Rich

    If you are too ignorant to know whether to use KNEW or NEW in a sentence then you probably shouldn’t be talking shit about people when you are too stupid to form a correct sentence. What a JOKE.

    Rick klassen
    Guest
    Rick klassen

    Thank you. You are very strong. A survivor. Myself and my siblings had things that happened. Not the father rather the stepfather so, and his buddies. I have a notion of the torment.i truly hope you rise above this , in fact I would bet on it. There are probably millions of plain ol folks rooting for you. I wish you all the very best. Nicely done

    Yo Mama
    Guest
    Yo Mama

    So, When can we expect a sex tape from this butterface?

    Lee Mao
    Guest
    Lee Mao

    23 and 24 May, 2005, TVNZ News, 6pm bulliten production dates at Hamilton City, New Zealand with Will Hayden and family, His Majesty of Jordan, Discovery Company staff, Dr Phil, Judge Judy.

    Michael Jacobson
    Guest
    Michael Jacobson

    You should interview me about Stephanie and Kris, The things I could tell. Did you ask her if she was on ANY ant-anxiety medication BEFORE any of this happened? For example while she was making the show? Or drinking on this medication? Or Kris being on pain killers and drinking and having to be helped back to his trailer? Aren’t you a little curious about the REAL people you hold up as a standard for the 2nd amendment movement?

    Delta
    Guest
    Delta

    Nice double barrel guns you have Stepahine

    durabo
    Guest
    durabo

    But lacking in the eye and hearing protection gear…

    Larry McAulay
    Guest
    Larry McAulay

    Nick certainly hit the nail on the head. Sons of Guns was 1st reality show I ever watched. Had resisted all before due to what I was hearing in the media & from idiot neighbors/friends who didn’t have enough intelligence to switch the channel. At the time (and it’s only gotten worse) it was so hard to find something decent out of 200+ channels. But I watched about the 3rd show and another a few shows later after someone insisted I give it a shot. Probably 6 months ago I heard about cancellation/Wills arrest/etc but didn’t stay tuned to any… Read more »

    Nick Anderson
    Guest
    Nick Anderson

    I never understood how a company that basically took components, made by OTHER (reputable) manufacturing companies, and assembled them and slapped their childish logo on them managed to create “a brand”; much less a successful business. Their abilities didn’t extend anywhere past basic gunsmithing and certainly didn’t amount to anything worth the notoriety they received. It just goes to show that hype seems to outweigh substance in our society – even in the gun world. What’s so laughable is that these jokesters had ZERO credibility in the community of high-end firearm manufacturers and that the ONLY reason that their brand… Read more »

    James Blattner
    Guest
    James Blattner

    You hit the nail on the head Nick. I’ve always thought the exact same thing about their guns. I can do the same thing and build any gun I wanted through Brownells, Midway USA or any of the hundreds of makers out there. I hope what everyone is going through at rjf or whatever it’s called now can open their eyes and not try to make all that has happened into a money making opportunity and focus on the little ones they chose to bring in this world. Prayers to all of them.

    jim
    Guest
    jim

    I never did like will the molester he was always an ARROGANT #!^/#!*** .

    LPh
    Guest
    LPh

    Her, her sister’s, & her husband’s day to day struggle, must be extremely weight bearing. I can’t fathom that kind of pressure. Not to mention having to navigate, either the loss of every girl’s dream of a safe relationship with her dad, or to navigate the repair of it. There is no amount of money, ulterior motive, or motivation that could be given to this woman for her to put such an embarrassing and private matter out in the limelight, OTHER THAN FREEDOM OF TRUTH, AND BREAKING THE CHAINS OF SECRECY & HER FATHER’S SHAME. Anyone suggesting ulterior motives,has never… Read more »

    dean wilkinson
    Guest
    dean wilkinson

    Iv watched ur show over hear in the UK and I loved it…. Keep up the good work…..and Kris’s is one of the funniest blokes ever. ITS A CANNON ,….

    Leesa
    Guest
    Leesa

    stay strong. You have a lot of support. I wish you good luck in all you do. Prayers sent your way.

    Tiny
    Guest
    Tiny

    Ive known both kris and stephanie for 10+ yrs, ive partied with them both. Dont let stephanie fool u into believing her bullshit. How can a person talk about faith and god, when both of them r still smokin weed and doin other drugs all the time while living at a KOA b/c theyve blown thru their money. Kris aka kronic was the name he went by when i met him in a rave club n baton rouge over 13 yrs ago, was arrested and charged with child abuse because he beat stephanies son and made him hold bricks out… Read more »

    LPH
    Guest
    LPH

    People who use drugs are “self-medicating”. Hummmmm I wonder what they were medicating? If your accusations are true against Kris, it makes me wonder where he learned it from.

    W. Van Spanje
    Guest
    W. Van Spanje

    The charges don’t involve Stephanie, Tiny. Two of Will’s co-stars have already said he is guilty and there is lots of evidence against Will. Are all of them lying? The only proven liar here is Will Hayden who stole money from his partners in the company. Will Hayden is a sociopath.

    Toozman
    Guest
    Toozman

    My best wishes to both Stephanie and Kris. I know there are people who don’t want to believe what happened but they are deluding themselves. No victim of abuse esepcially incest EVER wants to talk about it and especially wants it public. There is no gain to be made, no money. What Stephanie did when she went on Dr. Phil and talked about her father took an enourmous amount of guts. She stood up for her little sister who needed it. I for one am proud of her and I dont even know her. I do know she is telling… Read more »

    digel
    Guest
    digel

    I don’t believe for a minute Stephanie could work so closely with her father for so long if what she said happened did in fact happen. No way! Something else is going on.

    Morgydoll
    Guest
    Morgydoll

    You should take a look at the statistics on child abuse. Most are never reported of course. Or check the FBI stats. The Center for Missing and Exploted Children has some great stats. You’d be surprised how common this is. I’m just glad the situation was reported. I would hope the community would not attack the girls until after trial. Often news like this is hard. But attacking victims will only make people question your motives. At least they will question why you don’t know the stats before you attack. Something wrong there. But only God knows why people do… Read more »

    Donovan PhIllips
    Guest
    Donovan PhIllips

    I have two questions,
    1. Has Stephanie spoken to Will (her dad) lately or since the arrest. Or has he attempted to communicate with any of them? If so, what was the out come?

    2. Has Stephanie pursued or will she and Kris pursue another Television show? Possibly a show about life in the south or their day to day lives? I among many others would watch it.

    W. Van Spanje
    Guest
    W. Van Spanje

    Go ask Stephanie those questions on Stephanie’s Facebook page. She may answer them or she may not. You can try to ask.

    Fred. Farnsworth
    Guest
    Fred. Farnsworth

    Stephanie talks a lot about God. She needs to remember, Jesus said (s)he who is without sin cast the first stone.
    I won’t turn this into a Bible lesson, but, it seems like a lot bad mouthing and accusations flying around by a lot of people expecting to gain power and money and the loser says nothing. I’m glad I’m not the Judge.

    W. Van Spanje
    Guest
    W. Van Spanje

    Like who is going to gain power and power?

    Robert Birdwell
    Guest
    Robert Birdwell

    Really good friends are the ones how tell you the truth, when its not in there own favor.I hope win you glance behind you both see a crowd that stands behind you. Be blessed.

    dwain pangle
    Guest
    dwain pangle

    I spent the day in the office at RJF the day Will, Stephanie, Kris and Josh wrote their initial statements about what was supposed to have happened. No one stood over anyones shoulder. In fact, I was asked to proof each statement to insure they were intelligible. That was the day Stephanie made her first statement to WBRZ TV. Her passing out episodes were caused by her fasting to lose weight for her beauty product sales. There is a lot of truth here that is being hidden because of hidden agendas.

    W. Van Spanje
    Guest
    W. Van Spanje

    Were you with the Hayden family the entire time, including their home to know everything that was going on behind the scenes, Dwayne?

    RDNK
    Guest
    RDNK

    Really weird people. I’m not even convinced her dad molested them kids. I mean look at the type people making the accusations ! Stephanie has done nothing but lie since this story broke,so how does anyone know she telling the truth now. Money is what this is all about ! Really weird people.

    W. Van Spanje
    Guest
    W. Van Spanje

    Both Vince and Flem have come out and said there is lots of evidence against Will, including DNA evidence. They don’t charge for rape unless there is lots of evidence. Are Vince and Flem in on the conspiracy against Will as is the Forensic lab?

    RDNK
    Guest
    RDNK

    What DNA evidence ?

    W. Van Spanje
    Guest
    W. Van Spanje

    We will have to wait to the trial to see. The crime victims and their families as well as Will and his lawyers get to see the evidence that we don’t.

    None of Will’s former co-stars have come out and supported him. His wife seems to have disappeared from the scene. He was found to have been stealing money from the company. .Will is a classic sociopath.

    RichardH
    Guest
    RichardH

    Pampered-Prima-Dona gets a dose of real life at last. BTW, Kris give up the music fantasy, ‘cuz you suck.

    Jeff
    Guest
    Jeff

    Dr. Phil is a left-wing anti-gun nutball and the fact that SFH chose that show to vent on is very revealing.

    The King of Montana
    Guest
    The King of Montana

    Beautiful women in a bad spot. Be honest with people, work hard and do good work everything will work out for you and your family. These difficulties will just make you a better person. Great interview. May God Bless ya’ll.

    Melissa Cadwallader
    Guest
    Melissa Cadwallader

    Nice job Vanessa! I love that she is speaking out finally after her interview on Dr. Phil. She seems like a strong woman and many women can hold her up as an example to not let things get the best of u and no to keep moving forward.

    Regina Gomez
    Guest
    Regina Gomez

    I love it!!