Your Influence Counts ... Use It! The SPOTLIGHT by Liberty Lobby

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Sexist Company Beats Up On Woman

  • Anheuser-Busch displayed a sordid side in its dealing with one lady who made the mistake of getting mixed up with the brewery.

Jerri Beardslee of Fort Bragg, California can tell you about Anheuser- Busch's physical and emotional brutality.

Miss Beardslee was Bud's only woman distributor, having acquired her distributorship in 1974. Her husband was her "successor manager."

After divorcing in 1988, Miss Beardslee named her daughter successor- manager. Anheuser-Busch refused to accept her daughter on grounds she was female. She was given 60 days to sell her franchise to a male.

She found a buyer who would pay $1.4 million, with $500,000 down. Anheuser- Busch rejected this deal and offered Miss Beardslee $700,000 -- half the value.

She sued and on December 7, 1989, the court ordered Anheuser-Busch to pay her $900,000. The brewery appealed. In the meantime, her warehouse was burned down.

The government trumped up charges that Miss Beardslee had set the fire and held her in jail without counsel for 37 days. Jailed felons were promised freedom if they implicated her.

In October of 1995, the trial jury voted 11-1 to acquit her. The government appealed.

In her trial last year, Miss Beardslee was not allowed to tell of a man who told her he set the fire. She was convicted and is now free pending appeal.

Meanwhile, Anheuser-Busch is paying nothing for her assets of $1.4 million. And Miss Beardslee is under the threat of prison.