Blake Shelton Settles ‘In Touch’ Defamation Lawsuit
Blake Shelton has asked a judge in a California court to dismiss a lawsuit he filed against the publisher of In Touch magazine after reaching an out-of-court settlement. His suit claimed defamation after the tabloid printed that he was out of control and headed for rehab.
Lawyers for both Shelton and In Touch and its parent company, Bauer Publishing Co., filed Thursday (April 13) in federal court in Los Angeles to ask a judge to dismiss Shelton's suit, which he filed in 2015, the Associated Press reports.
Shelton’s attorney, Larry Stein, confirmed to Billboard that Shelton and In Touch have settled the suit "amicably." The filing states that each party will pay its own legal fees for the litigation so far. Details of the settlement have not been made public.
The country superstar and The Voice coach filed the legal action just weeks after an In Touch cover story alleged that Shelton's binge drinking had contributed to his divorce from Miranda Lambert and was affecting his work.
In court documents that became public in March of 2016, Shelton denied the allegations in the piece and refuted them one by one, saying, “Not only was I not in rehab or headed to rehab when it was published, but I also do not have a drinking problem ... All of this was false and went so far beyond prior stories about me that I had previously denied with humor.”
Bauer Media filed a motion in February of 2016 attempting to dismiss Shelton’s suit, pointing to his own comical tweets about drinking as evidence that he “has staked his reputation on heavy drinking.” Shelton acknowledges that in court documents, calling it “part of my schtick with my fans” and saying that it “in no way indicates that I have an actual problem with alcohol.”
That April, a judge ruled that the suit would be allowed to move forward. Shelton was seeking $2 million in damages.
This article has been updated to reflect that Shelton and In Touch reached an out-of-court settlement.
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