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John Rich Files Lawsuit Against Indie Record Label Owner

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.com

John Rich‘s 19-month battle with one-time ‘Nashville Star’ contestant Jared Ashley continues. The singer-songwriter first sued Jared for defamation in April 2009, after Jared accused John of punching him in the face. Now, John has turned his attention to the owner of Jared’s independent record label, Chris Sevier.

Nashville’s Tennessean newspaper reports that Chris, who owns Severe Records, is being accused by John of asking Jared and other artists to falsely accuse him in order to better Chris’ chances of winning a federal lawsuit he first brought against John in 2008. That case, which accused John of a long list of offenses including libel, copyright infringement and intentional infliction of emotional distress, was dismissed in Nashville court more than a year ago.

The current lawsuit against Chris, filed by John on November 19, accuses him of malicious prosecution and abuse of process, and seeks unspecified damages. Chris responded three days later by filing a 47-page amended complaint that specifically addresses John’s latest allegations.

The legal woes between John and Jared are fairly new compared to John’s battle with Chris, who has had an ongoing copyright battle with the record label owner since 2005.

John, who is rumored to be a contestant on the next season of ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ insists all his ongoing legal issues don’t affect him personally in the least. “I’m really not scared of anybody other than myself. I’m pretty much the only one who can take me down!” he tells The Boot. “I’m going to say the things I want to say. I have never been one to not voice my opinion based on someone not liking it.”

John, who has pursued a solo career while his award-winning duo, Big & Rich, is on hiatus, will reunite with his former partner next year at the Craven Country Jamboree, where they will perform together alongside Rascal Flatts, Sugarland, Darius Rucker and others. No word yet if the duo have more dates planned for 2011. John’s solo EP, ‘Rich Rocks’ is due to hit shelves later this year.

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