Accused of Spanking Women, Newspaper Exec Fesses Up

A chairman of a newspaper publishing company facing allegations of assault related to at least four women admits he spanked a female employee, but says he did so with a doctor's approval. 

H. Brandt Ayers—the former publisher of Alabama's Anniston Star, who now heads its publishing company—says he assaulted a reporter at her Anniston home in the 1970s when he was a "very young man with more authority than judgment," per the AP

According to 82-year-old Ayers, the woman, who died in 2006, had been out of work because of a psychological illness when he contacted her doctor, whose name he says he can't remember. "He said 'calm her down,'" Ayers tells the Star, adding he asked the doctor if spanking would be appropriate. Ayers says the doctor approved, and that he followed through in a visit to her home.

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