By Staff

Blake Shelton’s defamation lawsuit against Bauer Publishing and In Touch magazine took a step forward today.

Shelton is suing the magazine for a September cover story that alleged his drinking led to his divorce from Miranda Lambert and that he was headed to rehab.

Related: Blake Shelton Accused of Giving False Testimony, Fires Back

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Judge Christina A. Snyder denied the magazine’s motion to strike the singer’s suit under California’s anti-SLAPP statute (which defends expressions of free speech from meritless lawsuits).

“A reasonable person viewing the In Touch headlines and sub-headlines –– which were located 30 pages away from the Article –– might well have concluded that Shelton had, in fact, entered ‘REHAB’ after ‘his friends begged him to stop joking about drinking and get help,'” Snyder wrote.

“Even if plaintiff is ‘libel proof’ as to false assertions regarding his ‘excessive drinking,’ this does not mean defendants may make false assertions regarding his treatment in ‘REHAB’ with impunity,” she continued.


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