“This entire ridiculous situation is nothing more than an effort by singer, [and former Nashville Star contestant] Jared Ashley [pictured here], and music row attorney Chris Sevier, to try to obtain money from me. Mr. Sevier and Mr. Ashley have falsely accused me of misdemeanor crimes. I trust that the truth will come out through the process of our American justice system and that I will be completely exonerated at the end of the day.
“It’s unfortunately common in my line of work that there are a very small number of people who want to take advantage of another person’s success and try to get something for nothing. I truly did make every effort to work this out in connection with the defamation lawsuit I filed against Mr. Ashley.
“Yesterday, I decided that a civil settlement would be impossible due to the fact that Mr. Ashley and his attorney demanded that I pay Jared Ashley 2.9 million dollars, even though he is the one who has defamed me. He has now chosen to bring these false charges against me.
“Ultimately, and out of principle, I will not allow myself to be coerced into paying 2.9 million dollars to Mr. Ashley and his attorney Chris Sevier in exchange for dropping these frivolous misdemeanor charges. I intend to defend myself through the legal process to the fullest extent of the law.”