Blake Shelton, In Touch settle libel lawsuit over rehab, affair stories

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Blake Shelton (Credit: Blake Shelton's website)

Country singer and NBC The Voice host Blake Shelton settled his libel lawsuit against celebrity magazine In Touch Weekly.

“Details of the settlement have not been released,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. iMediaEthics has written to In Touch Weekly publisher Bauer Media and Shelton’s lawyer to ask for more information, including whether In Touch had to apologize, retract, or update any of its stories.

“Both sides will pay their own costs of the litigation,” USA Today reported, according to a Los Angeles federal court filing.

Shelton sued the magazine in 2015 for reporting on its cover “Rehab for Blake.” The cover alleged his friends had “begged him to…get help” and that he was “drinking vodka before noon & slurring his words.” He also sued over a separate article alleging he cheated on his then-wife country singer Miranda Lambert.

Shelton’s lawsuit denied he was in rehab, had a drinking problem, or had an affair, as iMediaEthics reported at the time.

Last year, Shelton said in a legal filing his drinking jokes are his “shtick with my fans” but denied all the claims in the article, according to USA Today. “I was not in rehab in September 2015. I have never been to rehab, nor have I ever considered going to rehab,” Shelton stated. He went on:

“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.”

Also last year, California federal judge Christina A. Snyder rejected In Touch‘s attempt to get the lawsuit thrown out, ruling that “a reasonable person viewing the In Touch headlines and sub-headlines…might well have” believed Shelton was in rehab, the Hollywood Reporter wrote.

Earlier this week, Melania Trump settled her libel lawsuit against the Daily Mail and its website Mail Online for almost $3 million after the UK publication reported claims she had been an escort before she married Donald Trump.

UPDATE: 4/18/2017 2:27 PM EST iMediaEthics spoke with Shelton’s lawyer, Larry Stein, who confirmed to iMediaEthics that there was a settlement but noted it is confidential.

Stein said the original In Touch story was “totally untrue”  and that Shelton “finally had enough” so he sued. “Blake feels very strongly that he proved his point. He’s not going to let them attack him without responding,” Stein added.

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Blake Shelton, In Touch Settle Libel Lawsuit over Rehab, Affair stories

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