John Rich Charged With Assault

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Country star John Rich is facing assault and harassment charges from Nashville Star contestant Jared Ashley. Rich, a former judge on the popular reality show, turned himself in to Nashville police on Thursday.

From the AP:

“The 35-year-old was charged with two misdemeanor counts of assault and one misdemeanor count of harassment. He was released on $3,000 bond.

In April, Rich sued Ashley, saying the aspiring singer defamed him by claiming Rich hit him in the face. Rich says the charges are false and he rejected a settlement offer to pay $2.9 million to have them dropped.”

In a statement released by his attorney, Rich said, “Singer Jared Ashley and Music Row attorney Chris Sevier demanded I pay $2.9 million in exchange for dropping false misdemeanor charges that they levied against me. They filed the misdemeanor charges in retaliation to the civil suit regarding defamation that I filed against Jared Ashley. I refused to pay the $2.9 million and instead opted to turn myself in and fight this in court.”

In March, Rich ripped into the NBC incarnation of Nashville Star, saying it “completely bastardized what country music is about.”

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