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  • Writer's pictureDonald V. Watkins

Why I Must Fight Joe Perkins and the Southern Company

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

By: Donald V. Watkins Copyrighted and Published on March 19, 2023

IMAGE: Joe Perkins (left) and daughter Taylor Lea Perkins (right).

An Editorial Opinion

I do not like men who rape and molest their young daughters. If I believe a man has sexually abused his child, I will move heaven and earth to make sure that man will never be able to hurt another child.

I realize that state and federal law enforcement officials in Alabama will not properly investigate, charge, and/or prosecute any high-powered, politically-connected, and well-financed child molester. I have seen this failure of justice occur too many times during my 49-year professional career. For the most part, law enforcement officials in Alabama generally find a convenient reason to look the other way while conducting business as usual.

In the zone of child abuse, incest, and rape, I have a "zero" tolerance level, no matter who the culprit may be.

A Cry for Help On May 2, 2022, I received a cry for help from Taylor Lea Perkins, who is the 39-year-old daughter of perennial Alabama "dirty tricks" operator Joe Perkins: "I need your help !!!!. My dad is coming after me with everything he has to stop me from telling what I know about him." Ms. Perkins provided me with her cell phone number. My news team at made contact with Ms. Taylor Lea Perkins that same night. What she had to say about Joe Perkins shocked us. According to Ms. Perkins, Joe Perkins sexually abused her as a child. The abuse allegedly involved repeated acts of sexual intimacy, rape, and incest and occurred for many years.

On May 15, 2022, I extended a public invitation to Joe Perkins to respond to his daughter's incest and rape allegations. I offered to publish his full response on all of my news media platforms. To date, Joe Perkins has NOT denied his daughter's incest and rape claims.

Instead, Joe Perkins commissioned Internet blogger and "washed-up" political puppet Steve Flowers to write a March 15, 2023 drive-by "hit" piece on me that was widely distributed in second tier Alabama media circles by another shady Perkins crony, Bill Britt.

Steve Flowers, a/k/a Jackson Stephen Flowers, was arrested on April 10, 2007, in Okaloosa County, Florida for “Domestic Violence Battery” and “Criminal Mischief.” On June 21, 2007, Flowers entered into a deferred prosecution agreement which required him to (a) participate in a court-approved domestic violence counseling program and (b) make a payment to a rape crisis trust fund. Flowers was also required to pay a domestic violence surcharge. After completing the program, criminal charges were dropped against Flowers.

Bill Britt is the Editor-in-Chief of the Alabama Political Reporter (APR). On December 19, 2022, National Public Radio "outed" the secret business arrangement between APR and Perkins, in which Joe Perkins pays APR $8,000 per month to trash Perkins' designated enemies on news media feeds. Bill Britt has a dark past, as well. Joe Perkins, who owns a public relations firm called Matrix, LLC, is a longtime political operative for Alabama Power Company, Georgia Power Company, the Southern Company, Auburn University, the Alabama Education Association, Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham), Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Alabama), former U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama), Chief U.S. District Court Judge Scott Coogler (Northern District of Alabama), and a host of other business and political power-players in Alabama. His main clients today are the Southern Company and Alabama Power.

Perkins considers himself a "fixer" for the Southern Company and Alabama Power. His speciality is character assassination in the Internet age.

On May 15, 2022, we published Taylor Lea Perkins' allegations of rape and incest for the first time. Since then, the Southern Company and Alabama Power have continued to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Joe Perkins, even in the face of his daughter's allegations and other evidence widespread wrongdoing in multiple states.

According to a confidential news sources, the Southern Company and Alabama Power are afraid that Joe Perkins will disclose their dirty secrets if they terminate his multimillion dollar contracts. Their fears in this regard are well-founded. Perkins documented these dirty secrets in handwritten notes.

Taylor Lea Perkins Says She Experienced Years of Childhood Sexual Abuse by Her Father According to Ms. Taylor Lea Perkins, she was born at DCH Regional Hospital in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on December 12, 1982. Joe Perkins and his wife Debra raised Taylor in the Northport/Tuscaloosa area. From the age of 3 or 4 to 12 or 13, Joe Perkins repeatedly molested, sexually abused, and raped his daughter, claims Ms. Perkins. "When I was real little, it started in the shower when I showered with him. Then it happened during the night. He would put his hand over my mouth and nose to keep me from screaming," wrote Ms. Perkins. Describing the first of her repressed memories of incest, Ms. Perkins said: "I was in the shower with him. He made me give him oral [sex] and after he finished, he praised me ... Then immediately [he] picked me up and turned my face towards the shower head and proceeded to waterboard me and say no one will believe you." When we asked how many times did Joe Perkins have sex with her, Ms. Perkins said, "I don't know ... lots and I haven't remembered anal yet." When we asked whether she ever became pregnant and had an abortion, Ms Perkins answered, "To my knowledge, I never became pregnant." The Present-Day Effect of Taylor Perkins' Alleged Childhood Rape/Incest Taylor Perkins described her daily life this way: "I literally have no money and no community here. This is the way [Joe Perkins] intended it. Everyone I befriend, in time, something changes and I can tell he has gotten to them in some way. He has been trying to have me declared insane my whole life. He either wants me to kill myself or do something to get [me] committed or jailed ... Or something that leads to my death." Ms. Perkins also describes the physical, emotional, and psychological toll that this alleged rape/incest experience has had on her life: "I've been married and divorced four times and have no kids. I have never had a normal relationship with a man. It made me equate sex with love and feeling loved. The environment at my mother's was bad too. Extreme neglect in every way except physical. All of my physical needs were met. I sought a lot of 'love' externally through sex. I completely deny my needs, so that the very person I depend on for survival (parents => intimate partner) won't abandon me. I don't have a healthy love of self because it was never mirrored back to me, so I try to find it in men .... Just like my dad .... Probably subconsciously to prove to myself that I AM LOVABLE and finally prove my dad wrong. I have done a ton of work on me, but I was missing this final piece.... You wouldn't believe how tiring it is to live at this level of survival .... I'm so exhausted all the time." When we asked who else has tried to help her deal with this sensitive subject, Ms. Perkins said: "Just a few people since remembering [the repressed incidents of incest and rape]. I haven't been able to seek any help yet. I've just been doing the work myself. I've stopped letting the memories come, and it's been hard, but I'm too scared to let them come alone. I also read you shouldn't do too much trauma work when you aren't in a stable environment (I'm not currently) because there is a risk of retraumatization."

My Prior Experience Helping Child Rape/Incest Victims Suggests that Taylor Lea Perkins is Telling the Truth Taylor Lea Perkins is the fourth alleged victim of childhood rape and incest that I have helped during my legal career. The first three victims were the three young daughters of a powerful Montgomery police lieutenant in the 1980s. Their father raped all three of them when they turned 13. Like Taylor Perkins, these young girls coped with their rape and incest for many years believing that it was a form of fatherly love. As they got older, they knew that it was wrong and unlawful. Eventually, the girls reported the rape and incest to then-Montgomery district attorney Jimmy Evans, who was a staunch advocate for child victims of rape and incest. Evans indicted, tried, and convicted this powerful child molester. All of the signs that these three molested girls exhibited as they grew older are now exhibited by Taylor Lea Perkins. These signs include: (a) the repressed memories of the incest that eventually come back to haunt them at a conscious level, (b) the perpetual fear of retribution from their powerful father, (c) their well-founded sense that other family members will not believe them if they report this incest, and (d) their loss of self-esteem after being raped by their father. There are no adequate words to describe a father who steals his young daughter's happiness and joy by raping her. What is particularly troublesome about Taylor Lea Perkins' case is the fact that Tuscaloosa County law enforcement officials have a well-known reputation for failing to protect the rights of abused women and children rape victims.

The 2015 rape case involving 19-year-old University of Alabama honors student Megan Rondini showed the world that Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's deputies and local prosecutors would not properly investigate and prosecute a powerful local white man for raping an innocent college student. Instead, these law enforcement officials formed a protective shield around the designated rape suspect. When this occurred, Megan Rondini committed suicide.

In 2022, Jeff Pitts, Matrix's former CEO, filed an Answer in a lawsuit Joe Perkins initiated against him in Jefferson County, Alabama Circuit Court in which Pitts made this stunning admission:

"Defendant Pitts was compelled to resign [his job as CEO of Matrix] because of Perkins' inappropriate and unethical business practices, including, but not limited to, initiating and directing the creation of an explicit video used in an attempt to intimidate the family of Megan Rondini, a rape victim who had committed suicide, to settle a civil claim [filed by her estate]....". Again, I do not know any state or federal law enforcement official in Alabama that I would trust to properly and thoroughly investigate Taylor Perkins' allegations of childhood incest and rape by her father. Perkins' connections inside these law enforcement circles run deep. Additionally, Perkins has an endless ability to tap into the Southern Company's massive bank account, without invoicing, for any purpose he so desires. The Southern Company knowingly finances and backstops Perkins' clandestine "dirty tricks" operations against all designated enemies and adversaries, with little or no oversight. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Birmingham is no place to turn for help in Ms. Perkins' case because its "Criminal Chief" is Lloyd Peeples. Mr. Peeples expressed his hostile views toward women when he served as an editor of his university newspaper. Additionally, when Peeples headed the office's day-to-day operations as the First Assistant United States Attorney from 2017 to 2020, the office had an abysmal record for stopping child sex trafficking in Alabama. What is worse, the U.S. Attorney's office in Birmingham is effectively controlled by Alabama Power Company, which has demonstrated its longstanding ability to "fix" federal criminal cases involving the company's senior management executives. The public witnessed this occurrence happen twice -- once in 1980 with the "Coal Fraud Trial" involving executives from Alabama Power and the Drummond Company, and again in 2018 with the "North Birmingham Bribery Trial" involving former state Rep. Oliver Robinson and two other defendants.

In the North Birmingham Bribery case, then-U.S. Attorney Jay Town had drinks with then-Alabama Power CEO Mark Crosswhite to celebrate Town's decision to keep Alabama Power's name out of the trial even though the company contributed $30,000 of the $360,000 used to bribe Robinson.

IMAGE: Former U.S. Attorney Jay Town (left) and former Alabama Power Company CEO Mark Crosswhite (right) celebrate keeping Alabama Power's name out of Robinson's criminal case.

Epilogue Because of my prior experience with incest victims, I took Taylor Lea Perkins' allegations of incest and rape very seriously. I heard Ms. Perkins' cry for help and I am committed to helping her get justice in the criminal court system. If her father is exposed as a crook and is subsequently charged and tried for other criminal offenses he may have committed with the Southern Company, Alabama Power, and/or Mark Crosswhite, so be it.

I believe that criminal justice is a critical component for helping Taylor Lea Perkins: (a) survive her ordeal, (b) achieve a full recovery as an alleged victim of incest and rape, and (c) enjoy a happy life that is free of shame, pain, blame, and loneliness.

No amount of bullying, threats, or character assassination by Joe Perkins, Steve Flowers, Bill Britt, APR, Alabama Power Company, the Southern Company and those persons and entities working in concert with them will cause me to stand down in the pursuit of justice for Ms. Perkins. If her allegations of rape and incest are true, which I believe they are, then Taylor Lea Perkins has survived one of the most horrific ordeals that a father can inflict upon his young daughter. In closing, I have a long and documented track record of standing up for women and children from all walks of life who have been battered and/or sexually abused by family members, friends, husbands, and others. I have NEVER backed down in the face of threats from bullies, wife-beaters, corporate giants, character assassins, rapists, child molesters, their law enforcement allies, or their media-friendly enablers, no matter who they were.


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