Blake Shelton settles lawsuit against 'InTouch' over rehab story

Blake Shelton was hopping mad when the tabloid InTouch magazine claimed he was such a debauched drunk that he urinated in public, ruined his marriage to Miranda Lambert, couldn't do his job on The Voice, and ended up in rehab. So he sued the magazine for defamation.

Now lawyers for Shelton and the magazine have settled the matter, and have asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the country music star over the cover story that declared he was headed to rehab.

The filing Thursday in a Los Angeles federal court does not include any details of a settlement. But it says both sides will pay their own costs of the litigation.

Lawyers for Shelton and InTouch and its parent company Bauer Publishing Co. did not immediately return telephone and emailed messages seeking comment.

Shelton sued the tabloid over a September 2015 cover story it published that declared "Rehab for Blake" and included several anecdotes of the singer's alleged drunken antics. It suggested he was such a debauched drunk that he even urinated in public.

Shelton denied the incidents occurred and filed a $2 million lawsuit in October 2015. He won an early court ruling that allowed the case to proceed

In March 2016, he filed an eight-page cri-de-coeur legal document in which he methodically refuted every allegation in the article. Yes, the boisterous star jokes frequently on social media about being drunk  — it's part of "my schtick with my fans," he said in the filing. But all the rest of the stuff in the article?

"Totally false," he declared in his response to Bauer's effort to get the lawsuit dismissed.

"I was not in rehab in September 2015. I have never been to rehab, nor have I ever considered going to rehab. I did not then, nor have I ever, hit 'rock bottom.' I do not drink excessively, binge drink, or have a drinking problem. I did not, as the story alleges, drink vodka before 11 a.m. I am never drunk, intoxicated or unable to perform my job on The Voice or elsewhere. I do not slur my words, or stumble when I drink. I have never urinated on a mailbox in public or otherwise. I did not start drinking at 14. I did not start drinking as a teenager. I did not start drinking to cope with my brother's death."

Last year, Shelton's filing said he was fed up with tabloid lies. "Sometimes, in the past, I have responded to stories with humor, as I did when it was rumored in the tabloids that I had heart trouble or that my ex-wife was sending me to rehab," he said in the filing.

But no more, he said.

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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