Singer Blake Shelton's lawyers have slammed reports suggesting the singer made false declarations in his lawsuit against a U.S. tabloid.
Following his shock split and divorce from wife Miranda Lambert last summer (15), editors at In Touch Weekly ran stories about the alleged turmoil that led to the break-up, with one cover story carrying the headline, "Rehab for Blake... He Finally Hits Rock Bottom".
The accompanying piece suggested Shelton's "drinking and womanizing... helped torpedo his four-year marriage", while his so-called friends were reportedly "terrified he could end up dead".
In October (15), Shelton launched a lawsuit against publishers at Bauer Media in Los Angeles County Superior Court in a bid to protect his reputation. He denied all accusations, insisting he wasn't in rehab and had no plans to seek any professional treatment, and was reportedly seeking at least $2 million (£1.4 million) in damages.
Bosses at the media company hit back in February (16), suggesting Shelton had created a public persona of being a social drinker, and stated they did not actually suggest he was entering rehab. They also claimed they had two sources backing up the article.
Executives at the media company want the lawsuit dismissed, but Shelton filed a sworn declaration earlier this month (Mar16) denying the publication's claims.
Shelton went on to deny claims suggesting he had taken off to Mexico on a bender, stating, "Contrary to the Rehab Story, I was not in Cancun for a bachelor party. Instead, I was with my tour manager Kevin Canady and a married couple who are friends of ours. We stayed at the Fiesta Americana."
"During this trip, I did not stay at the hotel ME Melia, Cancun or visit it," he continued. "Contrary to what is reported in the Rehab Story, I did not attend a bachelor party, party with strippers, or go to a strip club during my time in Cancun. There were no strippers at Coco Bongo and I did not go to a club named Dassan. Unlike what is set forth in the Rehab Story, I did not do tequila shots 'non-stop' or walk through my hotel lobby carrying two bottles of tequila. I did not kiss any women while I was in Cancun. There was no 'alcohol-fueled rendezvous,' nor did I hook up with any women, let alone multiple women, in my hotel room or anywhere else."
However, a legal memo from representatives at the publisher takes aim at the claims.
"Shelton resorts to apparent false testimony," the legal papers read. "He declares that the Article's depiction of his Mexico trip was 'fabricated,' because the 'partying' described at the Hotel ME Melia in Cancun could not have occurred as during his trip he 'did not stay at the hotel ME Melia Cancun or visit it'. Yet, indisputable photographic evidence places Shelton at that very hotel and with the blonde guest described in the Article."
And, in a declaration, In Touch reporter Adriane Schwartz claims she received information and a photograph from a "longtime confidential source who stayed at the hotel ME Melia."
"At the time we published the Article, I had no reason to doubt the accuracy of the photograph or of the conclusions we drew from it," she writes.
Shelton's legal team insists the singer did not stay at the hotel and the photo, which was submitted as evidence, was simply a picture taken with a fan.