Q: Who is Diageo?
A: Diageo is a global company that owns Bulleit and several other brands.
Q: Who owns Bulleit (bourbon, rye, 10year, 12year, cask strength, etc)?
A: Diageo owns Bulleit. In the past Diageo has also said that "the family and the brand are one and the same." When Diageo acquired the brand they executed multiple contracts with Tom Bulleit (covering further involvement and payment). It is unknown as to what their relationship is specifically, and if Tom Bulleit somehow has ownership over the brand in other ways contractually.
Q: Who is Tom Bulleit?
A: Tom Bulleit is a guy who sold his last name to a company as a name for a bourbon. You can see by his affidavit that by his own admission he was a part-time consultant for the brand, he has no proof of documentation of his ancestry or recipes, nor is he a master distiller.
Q: Who is Hollis Bulleit?
A: Hollis Bulleit™ is the first and only employee of the Bulleit Distilling Company prior to its acquisition by Seagrams and then Diageo. She was the only other family member to be hired by Diageo to represent Bulleit Bourbon, with the title of "World Ambassador of Bulleit Brands". Hollis completed the same job duties as her father, in addition to others (event planning, viral marketing, V.I.P. experiences and products, boards, and charities). Many people feel that Hollis' involvement qualifies as a "co-founder" or "co-creator" of the brand. She is the daughter from Tom Bulleit's first marriage.
Q: Who is Hollis B Worth?
A: Hollis B Worth is Hollis Bulleit.
Q: Who owns Hollis Bulleit™?
A: Hollis B Worth owns the trademark to her likeness, image, and story.
Q: Was Hollis Bulleit an employee of Diageo?
A: Hollis was technically a "vendor". This benefitted Diageo because as Hollis was not an employee she did not benefit from the same safeguards as other employees (like HR). While working for Diageo Hollis Bulleit was on call for 365 days a year any time of day. She worked long days without breaks. Diageo did not have to pay her overtime, health care, retirement, bonuses, or severance. Diageo treated Hollis Bulleit as a full time employee not as a vendor.
Q: Does Hollis continue to benefit from sales of the Bulleit Brand?
Q: When did Hollis' last contract with Diageo end?
A: In December of 2016. Since that time and without Hollis' permission Diageo has continued to use her promote the Bulleit brand positively while also disparaging her depending on the audience.
Q: Does Hollis get a portion of the Bulleit Brand Family Royalties?
A: No. These funds and bonuses have been withheld from Hollis by Tom Bulleit, Betsy Bulleit, and Diageo.
Q: Did Hollis ask for help?
A: Yes, Hollis asked for help from her company and her family for the abuse that she suffered while at work and on the job beginning as early as 2010.
Q: How can I help Hollis?
Q: Did Diageo know about the alleged homophobia?
A: Yes. An in-house meeting was held in NYC in 2015 about the matter.
Q: Hollis alleges that Tom Bulleit is homophobic. What are those allegations based on? Does she have any proof?
A: In 2007, when Hollis "came out of the closet", the Bulleit family began severely limiting their interactions with her, and showed no interest in her spouse. They refused her access to her siblings. She was encouraged to "stay in the closet" and not talk about it. She was even set up on dates with men by employees that worked for Diageo, and her father. There has been a misunderstanding that just because Hollis was "out" for several years that she did not experience rampant homophobia.
Q: Hollis alleges that Diageo is homophobic. What are those allegations based on? Does she have any proof?
A: Hollis believes that Diageo's systematic erasure of her brand while working for Diageo and after is homophobic. She thinks that Diageo's continued support of Tom Bulleit after her allegations and proof of being cut out of the family business is also homophobic in nature. Hollis bases her opinion on several experiences of personal exclusion of herself and her wife from family and Diageo run events.
Q: Did Diageo know about the sexual abuse?
A: Hollis is aware that Diageo knew prior, but they unequivocally knew late June 2019. They did not act until Hollis posted about her experience as a survivor in August 2019.
Q: What are Hollis' sexual abuse allegations against her father, Tom Bulleit?
A: From a young age she was touched and fondled inappropriately, posed for photos naked against her will, explicit sexual language was used when communicating with her, she was shown age-inappropriate sexual media in several forms, and her body was mutilated.
Q: Does Hollis have any proof that she was abused?
A: Yes. She has physical scarring. She testified in court to witnessing her mother's abuse. As an adult Hollis discovered several images of her as a child all the way up until the sixth grade that were unmistakably homemade child porn. Several witnesses can attest to bruising on her arms from her father, behavior that continued until Hollis' 40s.
Q: Is Diageo paying the press?
A: Yes. The latest article in a local Lexington Kentucky magazine has adds in all of the latest issues for Bulleit and the distillery. They pay for advertorials and Diageo PR guides the text of the articles on Diageo products and issues.
Q: Is Tom Bulleit an Alcoholic?
A: Yes. Hollis has been led to believe by Tom Bulleit that he has not had a drink since 1993. She understands that alcoholism is a disease, but it is not a disease that causes pedophilia (which she was led to believe to be so by her father).
Q: Could Tom Bulleit or Diageo have resolved this privately and timely without causing Hollis Bulleit more pain and suffering?
A: Yes. Tom Bulleit had over two years to sign a mutual non-disparagement contract prior to 2019. Hollis' attorney also reached out to Tom Bulleit in April of 2019 to resolve their issues in a private and safe setting. Instead, Tom Bulleit refused and involved Diageo. Diageo had several months to deal with Hollis Bulleit with the respect that should be given to abuse survivors, prior to Hollis Bulleit going public.
Q: Where can I hear Hollis talk about her experiences and these issues?
A: There is a podcast series called "Tea Time with Hollis and Cher" available on the Spirit of Rock network: LINK
Q: What is C-PTSD?
A: C-PTSD is short for "Complex Post Traumatic Syndrome". It is not the same as PTSD as some symptoms are similar yet C-PTSD includes additional symptoms. "Complex PTSD comes in response to chronic traumatization over the course of months or, more often, years. This can include emotional, physical, and/or sexual abuses, domestic violence, living in a war zone, being held captive, human trafficking and other organized rings of abuse, and more" (from the website beautyafterbruises.org). C-PTSD symptoms include being easily overwhelmed by emotions, difficulty in self-perception, interruptions in consciousness through intrusive thoughts/ flashbacks/ disassociation, misperceptions of their worth / mobility/ or support in life. Several physical symptoms occur because their bodies break down in response to prolonged stress. C-PTSD is not a subset or related to Bi-Polar/ Manic Depressive. There is no such thing as C-PTSD "highs and lows"; however C-PTSD suffers can be "triggered." A trigger is related to an event, person, or thing while manic depressive "highs and lows" are related to body chemistry. After it was actively covered-up and without support from her family or her company when she was bitten, bruised, and bullied working a Bulleit event, Hollis' cost of therapy for her C-PTSD in 2014 was over $10K. For more information click here
Q: I am a survivor and I need help. Do you have any resources that you recommend?
A: Hollis has utilized many forms of therapy throughout her life from individual to group therapy, to journaling, to creating artwork, to watching media on the subject, to reading several books. Some resources that have helped Hollis are below, healing is different for every individual therefore things that might bring Hollis comfort or clarity might be triggering to others (disclaimer Hollis is not a licensed therapist).
This list will grow, but for now here are some materials with LINKS underlined:
- The Journey: A Roadmap for Self-healing After Narcissistic Abuse by Meredith Miller
- Speaking Out from Within: Speaking Publicly About Sexual Assault (free/ online) a pamphlet published by PCAR (Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape)
- The Great Work: Self-Knowledge and Healing through the Wheel of the Year by Tiffany Lazic
- Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences by Sarah Schulman
- Crappy Childhood Fairy by Anna Runkle does not take a traditional approach yet she is very clear about the lack of resources, effective strategies, and attention paid to C-PTSD. Thorough discussions on how therapists and doctors have mistreated C-PTSD patients by using PTSD methodological approaches.
- Out of the Storm Website with interactive well monitored forums, blogs, resources, etc for C-PTSD.
- Untouchable (HULU)
- At the Heart of Gold (HBO)
Fiction/ TV/ Movies
The following list deals with several different facets of trauma and healing the shows could be triggering for some.
- The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (also movies)
- Westworld (HBO)
- Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (also series on HBO)
- World War Z (movie)
- Unbelievable (Netflix)
- Hannah Gadsby: Nanette (Netflix)