In an eight-page cri-de-coeur legal document, Blake Shelton refuted, methodically, a tabloid story last year that 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.
Yes, the boisterous country-music star jokes frequently on social media about being drunk — it’s part of “my schtick with my fans.”
But all the rest of the stuff printed by In Touch magazine in a cover story in September?
“Totally false,” declares Blake Tollison Shelton in a document filed Thursday in federal court in Los Angeles, in connection with Shelton’s $2 million lawsuit he filed against Bauer Media, parent company of In Touch, in October.
“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 (In Touch) story alleges, drink vodka before 11 am. 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.”
And that’s just on Page 3 of Shelton’s declaration, which was filed in response to Bauer’s motion to get Shelton’s lawsuit thrown out.
“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.
This time, the tab went beyond the pale, saying he actually was in rehab when he wasn’t, and suggesting that he was so far gone that friends and family feared he would die and contemplated an intervention.
The story came out when he was working on multiple projects involving hundreds of people who depended on him to show up sober and do his job, and when he was about to host the Kids’ Choice Awards. It came out just as he was in negotiations with Pernod Ricard to represent its new vodka, and it nearly killed the deal under policies that prohibit Pernod from working with celebrities in rehab or who have a drinking problem.
Shelton said it was important to him that he be viewed by all as professional and reliable.
“Unrebutted, the story had the potential to destroy both known and unknown business opportunities for me,” he said. “I felt that it jeopardized both my personal and professional reputation and that I needed to do everything I could to set the record straight.”
Shelton is following in the footsteps of numberless outraged celebrity plaintiffs before him, setting out in frank detail how a given media report has damaged him. He denied, for instance, that drinking had anything to do with his split from Lambert.
“My ex-wife did not catch me with a bunch of naked women in our Tennessee home one night. Ms. Lambert did not tape me while drinking and then show me a video of myself the following day…I did not handle my first divorce by drinking, nor has my drinking increased or escalated since my divorce from Ms. Lambert.”
Drinking has not damaged his health, he does not have heart problems, and none of his friends and associates think he has a problem with drinking, he asserted.
Shelton appears to have realized, too late, that his past habit of joking about drinking may by misinterpreted in the Twitter age, either unwittingly by fans or deliberately by tabloids. There was the time he denied having heart problems in a tweet by joking that it was really his liver. There was another time he tweeted he got so drunk he “defrosted my cat …in the microwave.”
“My tweets are intended to amuse and get a reaction from my fans,” he explains. “They are exaggerated figments of my imagination, and from the reactions I get, I think my fans understand that.
Source: USA Today