When news broke that country music king Blake Shelton and country music queen Miranda Lambert were divorcing, tabloids responded with headlines that alleged reasons ranging from cheating to boozing. Now Shelton is fighting back with a lawsuit targeting one of those tabloid’s tales in particular, according to USA Today.
The tabloid in question, In Touch, painted the country singer as an uncontrollable drunk who peed in public and was forced to go to rehab after wrecking his relationship with Lambert. The story included Miranda, claiming that Lambert had found her husband with naked women in their home. In addition, the tale alleged that Miranda taped him while he was boozing and then displayed a video to him.
Part of the issue are the country superstar’s own jokes about his drinking, but he has a retort to those who cite those jokes.
“[It’s part of] my schtick with my fans,” responded Blake, adding that the rest of the story is “totally false.”
The documentation defending the country crooner is linked to the $2 million lawsuit that he filed against In Touch’s parent company, Bauer Media. Among the claims made in the tabloid’s tale, Shelton challenged the allegations that he had gone to rehab and had a severe drinking problem that had affected his position as a coach on The Voice and resulted in acts ranging from cheating on Miranda to peeing in public.
“I have never been to rehab, nor have I ever considered going to rehab…I do not drink excessively, binge drink, or have a drinking problem…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.”
Although he admitted using humor to deflect tabloid stories in the past, such as when one wrote that Lambert was forcing him to go to rehab, Blake contends that the In Touch story went too far by claiming he actually was in rehab (he was not) and implying that his close pals as well as relatives worried he would kill himself from alcoholism, resulting in thoughts of staging an intervention.
The tabloid’s timing hit the 39-year-old singer especially hard, because he was planning to host the Kids’ Choice Awards and was working on a deal with Pernod Ricard to become the celebrity face for its new vodka.
That company does not work with any stars known to have problems with booze or celebrities who are in rehab.
“Unrebutted, the story had the potential to destroy both known and unknown business opportunities for me. I felt that it jeopardized both my personal and professional reputation.”
Moreover, all the claims about Miranda in the tabloid’s story were false, according to Blake.
“[Miranda Lambert] did not catch me with a bunch of naked women in our Tennessee home one night,” he declared. “Ms. Lambert did not tape me while drinking and then show me a video of myself the following day…nor has my drinking increased or escalated since my divorce from Ms. Lambert.”
What’s hitting Shelton only now, however, is that all his jokes on The Voice and social media about drinking alcohol were open to interpretation by everyone from journalists to fans. He once posted that he became so drunk he put his cat in the microwave.
However, he contends that fans understand.
“My tweets are intended to amuse and get a reaction from my fans.”
But that’s not what the publisher of In Touch says, and the company is using those tweets about being drunk as part of its defense, according to ET.
In its motion to strike the country singer’s lawsuit, Bauer stood by its statements that he has a problem with alcohol and pointed to his Twitter posts.
“Shelton ignores that he has staked his reputation on heavy drinking: he tweets more than 15 million Twitter followers almost daily with messages crowing about how much he drinks and is famous for his signature Twitter tagline, ‘Drunk,'” wrote the publishing company’s lawyers.
As for the real story of what caused his divorce from Miranda? Don’t look for any information about Lambert in Blake’s new album, according to People.
The country singer made it clear that he’s keeping details of his relationship with Miranda private. Instead, those who listen closely will get a sense of what he went through in breaking up with Lambert and falling in love with Gwen Stefani.
“It’s not like there’s all these juicy details [in the record],” emphasized the 39-year-old. “But [country music] lends itself to emotions and things that you go through when you go through a divorce [from Miranda] and, more so, the getting over that and moving on and finding someone else [like Gwen].”
[Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Sony Music Nashville]