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Affidavit of Thomas Ewing Bulleit, Jr.     August 22, 2011 


Below is a version of my father's, Tom Bulleit’s, affidavit with my notes in red. The draft was emailed to me on Monday, August 22nd, 2011 (original email screen capture on left). My father was asking for my help in case he “missed something.” By Tom Bulleit asking for my help, it proves that I was privy to and part of the entire history of the brand, and negates Tom’s prior claims that I was not. 


When Tom Bulleit submitted this affidavit in 2011, he had been working with Diageo as an ambassador since around 2005. For a company to ask for Tom to verify intellectual property and family history almost 6 years later is very odd considering Tom Bulleit had been traveling/ marketing/ selling for Diageo nationally and internationally for at least five years at this point with an unverified backstory. This proves wanton deception on Diageo’s part in their marketing materials and backstory of the brand. Note that Tom was only a part-time consultant (just like Hollis Bulleit), and his duties as a founder are unclear. 


Tom mentions only one female ever contributing to the brand: his daughter, Hollis Bulleit. He speaks of his second wife's lineage and her help with the initial business loan but he does not refer to her in any official capacity holding any official titles. Neither does he mention my domestic partnership as of September 16th, 2008 with my longtime partnership with now spouse, Cher. 









            On this day, Thomas Ewing Bulleit, Jr. appeared before me, the undersigned notary public.  After I administered an oath to him, upon his oath, he said the following:


  1. My name is Thomas Ewing Bulleit, Jr.  I am competent to make this affidavit.  The facts stated in this affidavit are within my personal knowledge or reported to me by others and to the best of my knowledge are true and correct. 


In my opinion Tom’s “competency” is questionable because of his history of inconsistency in his statement of these facts and time periods. He has been inebriated at times, from his own admission. I was present when Tom Bulleit required help because he could not remember facts and incidents correctly.


As established, Tom Bulleit had been working for Diageo for some years when Diageo asked for this affidavit. It came around the same time that my father told me that Diageo wanted him to sign a morality clause in his upcoming contract with them. In my experience, companies do not ask for morality clauses without reason, that were not formerly present. 


This is a clause that is usually asked for after an egregious incident(s) has occurred. In the decade and several negotiations with Diageo, I was never asked to sign a morality clause. Leading me to believe that a morality clause is not part of Diageo’s standard procedure. Tom Bulleit withheld the morality clause negotiations from his wife, Betsy Bulleit. I know this for a fact, because I told Betsy Bulleit assuming that she already knew and she was shocked and dismayed. Further leading me to believe that Diageo has been aware of Tom Bulleit’s inappropriate behavior in the workplace since 2011. This would have been after several people witnessed Tom manhandling/ bruising my upper arms at a Diageo work event. 


2. I was born in Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky on March 14, 1943 to Mary Orline Simpson Ballard and George Gage, and was adopted as an infant by         Thomas Ewing Bulleit and Dorothy Heaton Bulleit, who had married in 1930.  I have one sister, Mary Joseph Bulleit, also adopted by Thomas Ewing Bulleit and Dorothy Heaton Bulleit, and twelve half siblings by Mary Orline Simpson Ballard and her husband, Lawrence Ballard. 


Tom met his biological mother in 1998 when he was in his late 50’s. He used his biological mother’s relative’s experience in the bourbon industry to qualify his own. You will see this pattern in several of the points below. 


3. George Gage was killed in combat on Juno Beach during the Normandy invasion on June 22, 1944.  He is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer/St, Laurent-sur-Mer, France.


4. I grew up in Louisville and Bardstown, Kentucky.  I went to St. Francis of Rome Elementary School and Trinity High School, where I graduated in 1961.


5. In the summers of 1961 and 1962, I worked in the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, which Schenley Distilleries, Inc. owned. Schenley Distilleries distilled, aged, and bottled I.W. Harper and J. W. Dant bourbons at Bernheim.  I worked in the mailroom and also collected data for each of the Distillery’s functions: from the storage silos, to the mills, to the meal room, to the scale room, to the slurry tanks, to the mash cookers, to the fermenter, to the beer well, to the beer still, to the condenser, to the storage tanks, to the barrel house and, finally, to the bottling facility. 


I did not grow up with stories about my father working in the bourbon industry. Tom had not ever mentioned his job at Bernheim, nor with this much detail. In person, around 2011 he led me to believe that he had a position as a mail clerk, and no involvement whatsoever with the inner workings of the distillery. The paragraph above is a simple cut and paste from the Bulleit Round-up Training Manual. This manual was published around 2006 years after Tom Bulleit had been working for Diageo. I trained with this manual and I have a copy of it. He has told embellished versions of the story recently to the Bourbon Review and in his self-published memoir. 


6. When I was working in the Distillery and my father saw that I was enjoying what I did there, he told me that we had a very old family recipe for bourbon, from my great-great-grandfather, Augustus Bulleit, which called for 2/3 corn, 1/3 rye.  That ratio calls for more rye than most bourbon whiskey.  


I did not hear this story until I after began working for Diageo in 2007. This background story seemed cultivated for the specific purposes of Diageo’s marketing and padding of Tom Bulleit’s lack of legacy or expertise in distilling. This was around the time that Diageo and Tom Bulleit began using the title “founder” to the ignorance of the general public hoping they would assume Tom Bulleit was also a master distiller. 


The original Bulleit product released in the mid 1990’s was not this high rye product based on a family recipe, it was simply sourced and renamed whiskey. That was marketed as another more premium mark after Thoroughbred whiskey. Reader please note here in point #36 that Fran Taylor is not mentioned and Tom Bulleit takes complete credit for Meridian Communication’s input on the name and design of the Bulleit product (this contradicts the Bourbon Review October 2019 article). 


The liquid only changed after Seagrams acquired Bulleit from Tom in 1998. I believe the current Bulleit high rye mash bill was inspired by the former master distiller of Seagrams (Four Roses). This was in part because Edgar Bronfman senior loved scotch because of rye grain flavor profile. 


In my opinion, the Augustus/ High Rye story was Diageo’s marketing trying to build a myth and legitimacy around Tom Bulleit and the brand. Steve Beal announced to a room full of people at a Master of Whiskey dinner in San Francisco that he had been asked by Diageo to investigate Augustus Bulleit. Steve Beal said that after his findings it was impossible to prove whether or not Augustus existed at all. In a show of complete narcissism he declared: “I am and I made Bulleit bourbon.” 


Afterwards, I spoke with several Diageo people about how we should stop selling this myth and stick with what was: a story about family entrepreneurialship (as in both Tom and Hollis Bulleit who were working on and for the brand since the beginning).  Which Diageo ended up using the Tom Bulleit entrepreneurial platform and still do (and skipped over my portion of the true story). Using this half-truth effectively removed me from the story, and made Tom Bulleit seem like a legitimate businessman.  


When I found out that Augustus Bulleit was a myth, I stopped speaking of him entirely in my sales pitches. To this day, both Tom Bulleit and Diageo continue to promote the myth in person, press, and social media. 


7. My great-great-grandfather, Augustus Bulleit (possibly spelled “Boillett” at the time, based on U.S. Census records) was born in 1805 in France.


8, Augustus Bulleit emigrated from France to New Orleans, Louisiana in the early 1800s. In 1830, he travelled up the Mississippi and Ohio River to the Louisville, Kentucky area.  Upon arriving there, he became a tavern keeper, farmer and grain miller, and began distilling his recipe of Kentucky bourbon. 


Until I began to work for Diageo I did not know of this story. I have no other family members that can corroborate it. Tom Bulleit’s sister has told me that it is a bold face lie. And as said prior, former Master of Whiskey Steve Beal says that this was also a fabrication. Members of Proof Media Mix also ran their own investigation and said that they came up with nothing. A fake likeness sketch was commissioned of Augustus which to this day is still on display at Bulleit Visitor's Center. 


9, Throughout the mid 1800s, we believe that Augustus Bulleit sold his bourbon in Kentucky, Indiana, Memphis and New Orleans.  I am told that it travelled west with the pioneers who settled the American Frontier.


The first time I was aware of any of this was reading this affidavit in this detail for the first time. This story grew throughout the years I worked for Diageo. It began as just some guy maybe related to me named Augustus transporting something like hard liquor between Kentucky and New Orleans only. Tom Bulleit’s sister Mary Jo Willoughby said in front of my wife and I in 2016 that “there is no Augustus Bulleit.” The term “the American Frontier” is a complete marketing fabrication by the former marketing teams, and I know of no proof that Augustus' whiskey ever made it west of Kentucky. 


10. Sometime before September 28, 1850, Augustus Bullett (according to Census records) moved to Harrison County, Indiana, and listed his profession as a grain miller.  And on July 10, 1860 Augustus Boillett (according to Census records) listed his profession as farmer.  Harrison County is across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky. 


I did not hear this story in this detail until I read this affidavit, and note that it just talks about Augustus as a farmer. At best historically, he was moonshiner.  


11. I was told that Augustus Bulleit continued to distill and sell bourbon from 1830 until 1860, when he disappeared while transporting barrels of his whiskey from Kentucky to New Orleans. 


This simple story seemed to be the party line from 2008-2010. Not the rest of what is said above. I was directed to never use absolute dates. It could appear that Tom Bulleit was “told” by Diageo exactly what and whom Augustus did and was. 


12. There is no record of Augustus Bulleit after 1860.  There is no known death certificate, and the cause of death, whether due to an accident, natural causes, or a conflict, remains unknown. 


I did not hear this story until I after began working for Diageo in 2007. I will say that over the years Tom Bulleit embellished the story of Augustus’ death and encouraged others in the sales force to do so also. He liked to say that Augustus was a playboy with several ladies in every port and possibly he had another family and just left his Kentucky family for his better looking more fun New Orleans family. This fabrication seems odd, and says a lot more about Tom Bulleit’s morals than the fabricated story (as you can see below in Tom’s point 13). 


13. Some say he was murdered by his partner, others contend that he quietly vanished into the sumptuous life of the French Quarter.


14. John Joseph Bulleit, my great-grandfather, was born in 1844 in Indiana. He was a Civil War Veteran.  He did not have any involvement in the bourbon business. He died in 1926. 


I did not hear this story in this detail until I after began working for Diageo in 2007. I think it is a stretch to call this a family business that began with Augustus since distilling was not part of his son or grandson’s lives. I believe that Bulleit Bourbon officially started with Tom and I (there is no history to point to, recipe, paper trail, photographs, no vintage labels, etc). 


15. Francis Amiel Bulleit, my grandfather, was born in Indiana in approximately 1864. He did not have any involvement in the family bourbon business. He lived for some years before his death in 1937, in the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.


After Seagrams became interested in the whiskey Tom Bulleit took me to a graveyard in Indiana where I believe Francis was buried, and my father tried to act like this was enough proof that we were whiskey makers. And that we had it in our blood, but according to point #15, I think we had alcoholism in our blood. The Bulleits’ lost their fortune in the great stock market crash, along with their properties, and seemed to drink the rest of the fortune remaining away. My father told me Francis was kicked out of the family home and moved into the Seelbach hotel with his mistress. 


16. Thomas Ewing Bulleit, my father, was born in Corydon, Indiana in 1907.  He went to Notre Dame and moved to Louisville when he married my mother, Dorothy Heaton.  He was also not involved in the family bourbon business.  He was a purchasing agent for Delmonico Foods. He served in World War II in the Timberwolf division of George Patton’s 3rd Army.  He suffered shrapnel wounds during the Battle of the Bulge and as a result lost one eye and lived with shrapnel in his brain.  He was a quiet man, but he had a great sense of humor.  He was active in the Catholic Church as well as the Knights of Columbus.  He was also active in the Notre Dame Alumni Club of Kentucky, being named Man of the Year 1958-1959.  He was well liked in the community and was known as “Big Tom”.  He died in 1991.  Dorothy Heaton Bulleit, my beloved mother, died in 1986. 


I did not grow up with stories about my Grandfather being called “Big Tom”. I never heard anyone call him “Big Tom”. He passed when I was around 13 years old. “Big Tom” is a name my father has tried to get people to call him. I also was unaware of my Grandfather’s sense of humor. I saw him smile once and he rarely spoke. He had great taste in art like Tom Bulleit though, as his man cave was covered in paintings of dacshunds playing poker. 


When we visited my grandparents, my grandfather spent a lot of time drinking beer in the basement watching ball games. My father said that his father had a drinking problem. Later, Tom Bulleit’s sister, Mary Jo Willoughby, said that my father had a drinking problem also beginning in high school and that he put his parents through a lot. My mother and my father both told me that Tom Bulleit had drinking problem to the point that affected Tom getting a college degree. 


17. I attended the University of Kentucky from 1961 to 1966 and majored in English Literature with a joint minor in History and Business.


My mother and father told me that Tom studied English and History. Business as a major was not mentioned. Tom Bulleit’s education is not as streamlined as he would have one think. Tom has often said during sales pitches to groups of strangers that he was not a good student and he majored in “fraternity” or “drinking.” Certain degrees were acquired and completed at differing institutions and the timeline is messy. 


I know that my father cannot type. And that my mother, Stephanie Bulleit, typed all of Tom Bulleit’s papers including his law school papers. It is not uncommon for men of Tom Bulleit’s age and during a time of no computers or oversight for white married men to get an immense amount of help from their wives and take credit for it. Stephanie did the taxes for the family. Tom did not seem capable of this task without her. He could not even explain to me how to file my own taxes. I find Tom’s law competency questionable, and this is a foundation that he uses to seem like a smart businessman and whiskey founder. 


18. After graduating, I wanted to go into the distilling business, but my father told me that I would go in the military and ultimately become a lawyer. 


I never heard this story. Tom told me that he enlisted in the services to honor his father’s service and he insinuated that his father did not know he was enlisting prior. I do not think that Tom had the grades to get into graduate school and this was a possible way out. He told my mother that he wanted to get married prior to being deployed so that he would get a better stipend. My mother lived with his parents and paid his parents rent and also sent her earnings to Tom. 


19. I joined the Navy Reserve, and I went through boot camp and Medical Corps School at Great Lakes Naval Installation.  After completion of Medical Corps School I was assigned to Field Medical School at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.


My father told me that he signed up to be a nurse because he thought it would be the easiest task to perform, and he ended up by chance as a part of the Marines. It was never a goal. 


20. I then served at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital as a Hospital Corpsman Second class on the cardiology ward.


21. I married Stephanie Patrick in 1968. We divorced in 1986.  Stephanie died of breast cancer in 2008. 


My mother died on March 3, 2009, the same day that Tom’s mother-in-law died. Tom and Betsy had a medical professional call me up and tell me that Stephanie was lying about dying after I had spoken with her doctors and hospice. Tom and Betsy are horrible people and parents. I witnessed the aftermath of Tom beatings of my mother (Stephanie Bulleit) during their marriage. 


Tom owes a debt to Stephanie Bulleit and me for his success in his career. Stephanie helped get him through school intellectually and financially. She helped him start his own law firm. Tom used the money from my mother’s IUD class action settlement suit to start his firm in Lexington Kentucky (I was told this by both of my parents, Tom and Stephanie). Tom Bulleit acted as if he was a self made man. He was not. Soon after my parents divorced, Tom’s career in law ended. 


22. I then served a tour of duty from 1968 to 1969 in Vietnam in the United States Marine Corp with the 1stMarine Division in I Corps north of Da Nang as a medical corpsman.  My rank was HM3.  My service in Vietnam is what I am most proud of. 


As I said prior: My mother helped support Tom Bulleit through Vietnam. In my opinion, if Tom Bulleit is most proud of his service, then he should also mention who helped him and stayed with him throughout: Stephanie Bulleit. Not Betsy Bulleit. Tom has prostituted his service for our country to bolster himself as a quality person and garner more liquor sales that he benefits financially from. I know of no charity that he has given to or is involved in for veterans. He has no friends from that time. He has given free bottles to a local luncheon every once in awhile. Around 2010, my father expressed to me that he never wanted his son to enlist in the military. He did not consider himself from a military family, yet he has misled people about this in the past when he has spoken about his father. 


23. While I was in Vietnam, I took the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).


We have consulted with some experts on this subject of law test taking in combat zones and this could be a fabrication. We have not been able to find anyone who could corroborate that this type of situation has ever occurred. Especially with Tom Bulleit’s additive: “I was taking the test and I could hear gunshots and fighting in the background.” 


24. After my service in Vietnam, I attended the University of Louisville, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law on the G.I. Bill from 1969 to 1971, where I graduated near the top of my class and was a Law Review Associate Editor. 


I am confident that all of the articles written for the law review where conceived of and written by my mother. 


25. I was admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1972.  My first job was with the Honors Program of the Office of Chief Counsel, Internal Revenue Service.  With the IRS as its client and more than 1000 attorneys on staff, the Office of Chief Counsel is the preeminent employer of tax attorneys in the country.  I worked in the National Office in Washington, D.C.


There is difference between being an agent for the IRS and an attorney for the IRS. It is a reasonable assumption that Tom Bulleit was not an attorney for the IRS. 


26. Anne Hollister Bulleit, nicknamed Hollis, was born February 11, 1974 while Stephanie and I were living in Reston, Virginia. 


27. At night and on weekends, while Hollis was an infant, I attended the Georgetown University Law Center on the G.I. Bill and graduated in 1976 with a Master of Laws in Taxation (LL.M.) degree.


28. I left the Office of Chief Counsel in 1977 and moved to Lexington, Kentucky, forming the law firm of Arnold, Bulleit & Kinkead. 


29. By the early 1980s, the firm had become Bulleit, Kinkead, Irving & Reinhardt.


30. In 1995, I joined the law firm of Bowles, Rice, McDavid, Graff & Love LLP, in Lexington, Kentucky in an “Of Counsel” position and retired from that practice in 2002. 


After the divorce, my father was having a hard time transitioning in law without the help of Stephanie Bulleit. He had made some money working against miners in the coal industry in the 1980’s and that money had run out along with having to give my mother a lump sum alimony divorce settlement. At this time, both Tom and Betsy began to brainstorm about what Tom could do other than law and the two choices were bourbon or politics. Because of Tom’s sordid reputation of domestic abuse and alcoholism politics was out. 


31. During my law career, I became actively involved with the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Fund in Washington, D.C.  Since the memorial’s dedication in 1982, I have twice delivered speeches there, on Memorial Day in 1995 and in 1998.


32. I married Elizabeth Callaway Brooks on March 14, 1987.  Betsy is a descendant of Colonel Richard Callaway and her ancestors include Daniel Boone.  She graduated from Transylvania University in 1976 and currently serves on its board of trustees.  She is a Senior Vice President at Hilliard Lyons Co., the largest financial institution in Kentucky. 


My stepmother’s history is debatable; Richard Callaway was a friend of Daniel Boone and Betsy was named after Daniel Boone’s niece. The only reason to say this is because Tom uses this quite often to establish the Bulleit brand as one that is “old Kentucky history and old money”: which it is not. 


33. I formed the Bulleit Distilling Company in 1987.  I founded it with Shelby Kinkead, who was one of my partners at the time.  Betsy and I secured a $1 million loan from the Commerce National Bank using my home equity and business as collateral. 


34. I bought out Shelby Kinkead’s share in Bulleit Distilling Co. in 1989. 


35. In 1987, I entered into a contract to distill bourbon with Leestown Distilling Co., which was owned by Ferdie Falk and Bob Baranaskas.  I produced Bulleit at 90 proof and Bulleit Thoroughbred at 100 proof.  Shortly thereafter Leestown Distilling Co. was acquired by Sazerac Co. of New Orleans, Louisiana, and I renewed my contract to distill, and entered into a domestic distribution contract after negotiations with Peter Bordeaux, the President of Sazerac.  During this period we had a distribution in France through Tattinger.


Note that the mash bill is not mentioned, or anything about a high rye, or a quality product, or a passion for anything other than getting rich. 


36. In concert with Meridian Communications of Lexington, Kentucky, I designed the Bulleit Bourbon bottle, shown in Exhibit A.  I imported the bottles from England, sourced the cork closures in the U.S., and had the adhesive back labels printed here in Kentucky. 


The first bottle was an open mold; Tom did not design it. A woman, Meredith, designed the label at Meridian Communications. I worked at Meridian communications; I have social security payment stubs to prove the money I earned while working there. Fran Taylor was never part of the meetings that I knew of, and she was guided into saying that she did not remember me working there. I helped choose between the mock-ups of the labels and gave input of changes in the labels. Tom has left out my participation here, along with several other key players. This contradicts The Bourbon Review. 


37. Our son, Thomas E. Bulleit III (Tucker), was born on June 10, 1992. 


Tucker is adopted from Los Angeles. Tom has left this out here, and has continually misdirected the public that Tucker is his biological child and that I am adopted. I have the necessary birth certificates to prove my legitimacy.  


38. I received the trademark registrations, shown in Exhibit B, on my label designs, shown in Exhibit A, in 1995. 


The label was changed when Seagrams bought the brand from Tom. I believe that Diageo owns those trademarks now. 


39. During the early years of the Bulleit Distilling Co, I continued to work as a lawyer, maintaining law offices in Lexington and distilling offices at Leestown in Frankfort, Kentucky. Hollis, after graduating from Smith College in 1996, returned home and worked for me at the distillery. 


So unlike the Bourbon Review articles, even Tom knows I did something for the brand. I would say I worked “with Tom” not “for Tom.” He had ridiculous ideas, like pasting pieces of paper together instead of having them printed double sided. He insisted on buying lots of different types of glue to achieve a double sized flyer. 


I was the first and only employee of the Bulleit Distilling Company. I have no work contract on this, which ultimately benefited Tom Bulleit. He paid me by check every two weeks. After I saved enough money, I lived in an attic apartment. Before Tucker Bulleit graduated from college he was given a million + dollar furnished home. At this point I was still living apartment-to-apartment selling on behalf of the brand. While people may want to grapple over me being an effective teenager consult, you cannot disparage that I was the first and only employee, consistent collaborator, and I obtained a BA degree from an established institution with applications for strategic marketing that inevitably helped sell the brand. No other member of the Bulleit family has a degree that would help them to sell or market this brand.


40. At Smith College, Hollis majored in Studio Art and minored in Women’s Studies.  She was twice an All American swimmer and House President of her residence. 


I do not know why Diageo needed to know this. Yet in an interview with Fred Minnick around 2017-2018, Tom Bulleit says that since I went to Smith College and I am smart that means that he is also smart. He has often acted as if my achievements are his own.  


41. In 1996, I hired Charlie Mihalik, a securities lawyer, to draft a private offering memorandum to raise funds for advertising and marketing.


42. Joseph E. Seagrams & Sons purchased the Bulleit Distilling Co. pursuant to a Stock Purchase Agreement dated September 30, 1997, for $1.8 million and an overriding per case/or equivalent royalty. 


At this time, only Tom Bulleit and myself were working at the Bulleit offices daily. I do not remember seeing my stepmother Betsy Bulleit enter the Bulleit offices once during my years of working there. I should have received my portion of the royalty from this point on. 


43. The distilling families are drawn from a small pool. My first cousin, Dick Heaton, married Alice Jane Willett of the Willett Distilling family. My sister-in-law, Rosalie McKay Ballard’s, grandfather founded Early Times. 


Dick and Alice are from his adopted family; Rosalie is married to his biological brother, which he did not meet until his late 50’s. Everyone in Kentucky is related to someone in bourbon, that does not qualify you as an expert or as a whiskey family. 


44. My birth mother, Mrs. Ballard, raised her family “in the shadow of” the McKenna Distillery in Fairfield, Kentucky, where many of our family members worked, and where her brother, my uncle, Sam Simpson, became a Master Distiller.


To the best of my knowledge, not once has Tom Bulleit attended a family holiday with the Ballards in their hometown. 


45. My cousin, Mary Simpson Hite, told me that her father, Sam Simpson, learned his trade from Coleman Bixler, his father-in-law, a fifth generation distiller.


Yet, that still doesn’t make Tom Bulleit a fifth generation master distiller. Although, Fred Minnick (press) pulled me aside at the Spirited Awards at Tales of the Cocktail and implored me to tell Tom Bulleit to stop telling people that he was a Master Distiller and that he liked to go “fiddle with the knobs on the machinery” at the distillery. I told Fred, he should tell Tom that. But Fred, just wants wax on romantically about simpler times with bourbon wasn’t about pedophilia and queers but about mash bills, wood, and super white men. 


46. In conjunction with our new partnership with Seagrams, I became a consultant and brand ambassador pursuant to a Consultant Agreement dated September 30, 1997.  I have continued in that role with Diageo, travelling between 120-140 days per year, typically taking over 100 flights annually to various Domestic and International Markets. 


(note as 47) The Bourbon Review has said that I had a “part time” job making me unqualified for the title of co-founder, yet here in Tom Bulleit’s own words he also is just A PART TIME WORKER. His flights are exaggerated, as there are few flights direct from Lexington Kentucky forcing Tom to take many flights in one day. For multiple years (or chunks of time between 1997-2002) Tom did not work due to legal acquisitions with the brand. 


48. After the Seagrams acquisition, Hollis returned to school, spending a year in France at the Institute for American Universities in Aix-en-Provence, France and received a Post Baccalaureate in Painting.  She then attended Brandeis University where she received a Certificate in Painting and New York University where she received a Masters in Painting. 


This is mentioned in the Affidavit because my art talents and training lent itself to gross brand sales. I am very lucky to have been given the chance to study and travel; however I did not travel and live the way that the Bulleit family led people to believe I did in the Bourbon Review October 2019 article. To date, Tucker Bulleit (Thomas Ewing Bulleit III) owns a million dollar plus house, in addition massive renovations, a five million dollar plus farm, a RV trailer, several vehicles including motorcycles, vintage cars, sports cars, vans, and trucks. We live in a two bedroom apartment and we share a nine year old car. Tom promised sibling parity in 2016, this is just another broken promise. Tucker has never officially worked for Diageo, yet he (as a cis-heterosexual white male) is rewarded by Tom with royalties from the brand/ Diageo. 


While in France, Tom and I had several discussions on how the bourbon was proceeding. 


49. After Seagram acquired Bulleit Distilling Co., we began a project to redesign our package and re-concept the product. 


“We” includes, Hollis here


50. Arthur Shapiro (SVP), Sam Elias (VP) and Neil Gallo, of Seagram, Bob Mackell, Jack Mariucci and I, of Bulleit, and Steve Sandstrom of Sandstrom Design embarked upon a project to redesign our glass.


Tom takes less credit for this in the Diageo paid article in the Bourbon Review October 2019. This is the first time Tom mentioned Lexington KY resident, Fran Taylor, as helping with the brand


51. Art Peterson, Jim Rutlege, John Rhea, and Neil Gallo aided me in implementing our family recipe for Bulleit Bourbon, by selecting a yeast, a mash bill, and mingling codes. 


To the best of my knowledge there is no family recipe. They would be tweaking the former Seagrams/ Four Roses Master Distiller’s recipe. Which is probably why Jim Rutledge and Chuck Cowdery have been so pissed at Tom Bulleit for all of these years for not giving credit where credit is due. 


52. Sam Bronfman, Sr., master of whiskey blending, influenced the Bulleit Bourbon recipe by imposing his unique “mingling” philosophy on the bourbon-making process used at Seagram’s Four Roses Distillery, where Bulleit Bourbon is produced, by introducing the concept of “mingling” distillates to achieve taste and consistency.


53. The Four Roses Distillery makes ten individual distillates from two mash bills and five proprietary strains of yeast.


54. Today, the recipe for Bulleit Bourbon is 68% corn, 28% rye and 4% barley malt, which carries forward Augustus Bulleit’s recipe of 2/3 corn and 1/3 rye. It is 90 proof and it is aged for six to eight years in new White American Oak with a #4 char.


Diageo told me in 2015 that those grain percentages were not to be quoted anymore as they might not be accurate, nor was I supposed to speak of the liquid (I have documentation on this). Making it pretty damn hard to do my job effectively and truthfully. 


55. Bulleit Bourbon’s distillation process is such that only ethyl alcohols, which are flavorful and lighter in texture, remain, and phenol alcohols, which have a distinct bitter, more medicinal taste, are removed.


56. Limestone-filtered water used in the distillation process comes from the Salt River, which is a tributary of the Kentucky River.


57. Steve Sandstrom submitted designs pursuant to selected parameters taking into consideration the ability to see the liquid, our concern that the bottle be unique, and our desire to have the package reflect the heritage of the brand.  He designed four prototypes, shown in Exhibit C and Exhibit D, which were scrutinized by five focus groups in major cities in the United States.


58. We ultimately chose the bottle design shown in Exhibit E, which won a Communication Arts Design Award in 1999, a double Gold Medal in 2006 at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and a Gold Medal in 2009 from the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago for package design.  We received a trademark registration for this design in 2006.


59. Diageo plc. acquired the Bulleit Bourbon brand from Seagram in 2001 when it, with Pernod Richard, acquired the spirits and wine division of Seagram.


60. In May 2011, I entered into an Amended and Restated Consultant Agreement with Diageo North America, Inc., effective as of July 1, 2010, which restated in its entirety the original Consultant Agreement dated September 30, 1997, as it had been subsequently amended.


This is proof of Diageo’s way of working and back dating contracts. It is also possible proof of a larger royalty percentage. And further evidence that Tom was only consulting part time. I do not know how that qualifies him as a “founder”. His job description qualifies Tom Bulleit, as Chuck Cowdery loves to say, as a glorified brand ambassador. 


61. The Four Roses Distilling Company in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, owned originally by Seagram, now by Kirin Brewing Company, currently distills Bulleit Bourbon.  Bulleit Bourbon is aged for at least six years at the Four Roses’ Cox Creek facility.


62. Bulleit Bourbon won Beverage Testing Institute Gold Medals in 2002, 2007, 2008, and 2011, San Francisco Spirits Competition Gold Medals in 2004, 2007, and 2011, San Francisco Spirits Competition Silver Medals in 2005, 2006 and 2008, and a “Superb” rating from F. Paul Pacult’s Spirits Journal.  These awards are shown in Exhibit F.


63. Bulleit Bourbon is now sold in all 50 states as well as Canada, Mexico, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Great Britain, Germany, Sweden and Turkey.  We market a full line of glass in the United States, and RTDs, or ready mixes, in Australia and Great Britain in various sizes and ABVs.  See Exhibit G for a list of all trademark applications and registrations for Bulleit Bourbon and Exhibit H for copies of all U.S. trademark registrations for Bulleit Bourbon.


64. Since 2006, our daughter, Hollis, has served as Bulleit Bourbon World Ambassador for Diageo.


Again, Tom has admitted here that I worked well over ten years for him and Diageo. The Bulleit family and Diageo argue that my worth, input, and earnings are less than 2% of Tom Bulleit's earnings. By Tom’s own admission, I was part of this process throughout. Diageo chose to willingly ignore me and my history by burying it since 2011 when this affidavit was submitted. It could appear as if they were trying to erase the out and proud lesbian. 


65. I was diagnosed with colon cancer on April 27, 2005.  I went through various operations and chemotherapy until February 2006.  The cancer is now in remission.


66. Mrs. Ballard died of natural causes on January 1, 2006. 


67. In 2006, I was appointed as a member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels.  The Governor of Kentucky appoints Colonels.


When I asked Tom to nominate me to be a KY Colonel (several times) he declined. When I explained that this would help my career, he said he didn’t care. 


68. In 2009, I was inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame. 


The same year Tom was inducted so was Chuck Cowdery; oddly after they got into a fight over how legitimate Tom Bulleit’s history was in the press prior in that year. 


69. My brother, Larry Ballard, died on July 25, 2010.


70. In March 2011, culminating a project we began in 2004, we launched Bulleit Rye. 


I believe that the rye was not spoken about seriously until around 2010, when Diageo found they could source a large quantity of it. Steve Beal began talking about the rye against company policy and I got blamed for leaking confidential information. I never spoke with anyone other than Tom and the team about the rye. Steve is not someone to put your trust in. 


71. Bulleit Rye is a current family recipe of 95% rye and 5% malted barley.  It is 90 proof and aged five to seven years in new White American Oak with a #4 char. 


We never had a rye family recipe. Tom never tried any of the rye distillates as he stopped drinking in 1992 because of his alcoholism (Tom Bulleit’s admission). 


72. Bulleit Rye is distilled, aged, and bottled at Lawrenceburg Distilleries of Indiana (LVI) in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.


73. Hollis is one of the primary designers of the Bulleit Rye package, designing and selecting the label color. 


Here Tom Bulleit gives me exclusive credit for the Bulleit Rye. Why was this not mentioned in the Bourbon Review October 2019 article? Anything printed or in its online presence about Bulleit in the Bourbon Review can be seen as "paid for press," as Bulleit has an advertising package with them. The owners of The Bourbon Review are long time friends of Tom and Betsy and the journalist is married to one of the owners. 


74. Bulleit Rye won double Gold Medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition for liquid and packaging in 2011. See Exhibit I.


75. Bulleit Rye is sold in many states.  See Exhibit J for a list of all trademark applications and registrations for Bulleit Rye and Exhibit K for copies of all U.S. trademark registrations for Bulleit Rye.


76. The Bulleit brand achieved the 100,000 case domestic sales benchmark in 2011.


77. Now Betsy and I live in Lexington, Kentucky.  Hollis is in Los Angeles, California.  And Tucker starts college at Hampden-Sydney this fall. 


And there is no mention of Cher whom I had been with since 2007 and had an NYC domestic partnership with (this was prior to gay marriage being legal). I was out at work since 2008 this affidavit was issued in 2011. There is no excuse for this exclusion of important “family business” information. To me this is clearly homophobic.­



Thomas E. Bulleit, Jr.





State of Kentucky, in the county of Fayette subscribed and sworn to before me by Thomas E. Bulleit, Jr. who is personally known to me, that the foregoing statements were true and accurate and made of his own free act and deed on _____/_____/_________ .



________________________________________________________                     SEAL

Notary Public                                     Date



My Commission Expires ____________________________

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